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Fraudulent sale of RDP houses: Three accused people appear in court

A photogrid of three people

Fraud accused - Annica Van Staden, Foto Boy Makua alias Fofo, estate agent Helga Kruger have appeared in court for allegedly selling RDP houses in Mpumalanga. Picture: Hawks

Published Nov 9, 2023


Annica Van Staden, 48; 51-year-old estate agent Helga Kruger; and 55-year-old Foto Boy Makua alias Fofo appeared in the Middelburg Regional Court on allegations of fraudulently selling RDP houses in Mpumalanga.

Spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) in Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said the case against the trio was postponed to next year – while Van Staden remains behind bars.

“The case against the three accused of RDP house fraud, Van Staden, Kruger and Makua appeared before the Middelburg Regional Court (on Tuesday) for disclosure and joining of the charges,” said Sekgotodi.

“All cases were postponed to April 10, 11, and 12, for trial. Van Staden was remanded in custody, and bail was extended for Kruger and Makua.”

Fraud accused - Annica Van Staden, Foto Boy Makua alias Fofo, estate agent Helga Kruger have appeared in court for allegedly selling RDP houses in Mpumalanga. Picture: Hawks

“More charges are imminent. Investigation is continuing.”

On Tuesday, IOL reported that summons to appear before court had been delivered against the three accused people. The trio was previously arrested and released on bail, on charges of fraudulently selling RDP houses in Mpumalanga.

The summons were delivered by the Hawks’ Middelburg-based serious commercial crime investigation team.

“The summons followed new complaints that were received by the Hawks regarding victims who were evicted from their houses,” Sekgotodi said at the time.

“Annica Van Staden was summoned to appear before the Middelburg Regional Court on Tuesday, November 7. The appearance followed after the complainant, Mr Samson Makhuwana Shilwane reported that Van Staden sold his house without his consent.”

Helga Kruger, an estate agent has been accused of fraudulently selling RDP houses in Mpumalanga. Picture: Hawks

The complainant, Shilwane, mentioned that he was selling his house, while also going through a process of divorce.

“It came to his attention when Smangele Nhlabathi who purchased the house came to evict him (Shilwane) from the premises. Nhlabathi presented purchasing documents for R280,000 with a forged signature of Samson Shilwane,” said Sekgotodi.

The matter was reported to the Hawks for further investigation, hence Van Staden’s court appearance on Tuesday.

Sekgotodi said in another case, Helga Kruger allegedly sold a house in eMbalenhle to Wiston Maluleka, who deposited R200,000 into Helena Gertruida Kruger’s Capitec bank account.

According to the Hawks, Maluleka “never heard from” Helena Kruger again, until a case was opened and she appeared before court on Friday.

On Monday, Sekgotodi said summons to appear before court were served on Foto Boy Makua, for additional charges of fraud.

Foto Boy Makua has been implicated in the fraudulently selling RDP houses. Picture: Hawks

Makua is the sole director of Foto Security Services.

“It alleged that on August 10, 2014 an amount of R150,000 was deposited into his company’s FNB bank account for purchase of an RDP house, bought by Mrs Frieda Masemola,” said Sekgotodi.

Masemola alleged that the RDP house situated at Mhluzi, in Middelburg was never transferred into her name and she has never occupied the house.

“She noticed that the house was re-advertised for sale in the local newspaper. She sought legal assistance and found out that the house belonged to Lukhele Trust and that she was being defrauded,” said Sekgotodi.

Masemola reported the matter to police and the case was transferred to the Hawks for further investigation, hence Makua’s court appearance.

“The complaint (Masemola) suffered a loss of R150,000,” according to the Hawks.

In the other case, the Hawks said it is alleged that on June 24, 2014, Helga Kruger advertised RDP houses at Tokologo section in Middelburg on behalf of a company, Housing First Property.

“The offer to purchase indicate that Housing First Property is the seller of the properties (houses) and it (the company) was registered in the name of Annica van Staden. She (Kruger) sold the property to a complainant for R100,000 and further requested the buyer to transfer the money into the business account of Foto Security Services,” said Sekgotodi.

Annica Van Staden was remanded in custody. Picture: Hawks

“Kruger should have known as an estate agent that the property can only be transferred and registered in the name of the buyer once the conveying attorney received the money into his trust account. The rightful owner of the property did not give anyone permission or mandate to sell the property.”

Meanwhile, provincial head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Major General Nicholas Gerber has urged community members who were previously defrauded in such manner to come forward and report their cases.

In 2021, IOL reported that Van Staden who allegedly sold people’s RDP houses fraudulently had been re-arrested after she was found hiding in a Boksburg house.

She was allegedly found with all her luggage packed and police claim she was ready to flee to Cape Town when they nabbed her.

At the time, the Hawks had been looking for Van Staden, after she was granted bail in August 2019 and failed to return to court in November 2020.

Sekgotodi said allegations were that Van Staden registered the business, Housing First Property in Mpumalanga between October 2014 and July 2015.

She is the said to have started selling RDP houses, repossessed houses as well as private property in the vicinity of Middelburg, Witbank, Secunda and Kriel.

However, Sekgotodi said, it was later established that the houses she sold were not for sale.