Land scam arrests welcomed

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IOL news handcuffs file jul12 .

Johannesburg - The arrest of two more people allegedly involved in the illegal sale of state land in Lenasia was welcomed by Gauteng housing MEC Jacob Mamabolo on Thursday.

“Mamabolo said the arrest of the two suspects is an indication that there are still criminal elements that are relentlessly continuing to mislead and ultimately land members of the public in trouble,” his spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa said in a statement.

This followed the appearance of David “Lepolisa” Mofokeng and Thabo Moloi in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court last week, where they were granted bail of R5000 each.

The men were arrested in a sting, after an investigation by the department's anti-fraud and corruption unit and the Hawks.

Mamabolo urged members of the public who had bought illegally sold plots to stop building on them.

“This illegal construction must stop as we try to find an amicable solution to this thorny matter.”

The issue of illegal land sales in Lenasia made headlines in November 2012, when the Gauteng housing department demolished about 50 houses there. It said it was acting within the law because the houses were illegally built on government land.

Sifiso Handsome Litau, a former City of Johannesburg official who resigned during internal disciplinary proceedings, has been found guilty of illegally selling land in Lenasia Extension 13. He has yet to be sentenced.

Pastor Mandla Dlamini, 76, is serving a three-year sentence for his part in the land selling syndicate.

Married couple Muzwamandla and Elizabeth Poto were found guilty of fraud charges in November and were sentenced to three years' correctional supervision. They were also given 12 months' imprisonment for trespassing, suspended for 12 months.

The alleged kingpin of the syndicate, Richard Zikhali, faces 94 counts of fraud and money laundering. He will be tried in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Sapa


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