Siphiwe Shongwe only found out she owned a house in Tsakane Extension 11, Ekurhuleni, in 2010; 13 years after the RDP house was awarded to her. Picture: Itumeleng English/ANA

Johannesburg - Swift action has been taken by the Gauteng Provincial Government with the launch of an investigation against an Ekurhuleni councillor exposed in The Star reports recently for allegedly selling houses and stands illegally.

Paul Mashatile, the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements, announced on Thursday that his department's Fraud and Anti-Corruption Unit will investigate allegations into housing corruption by Morris Chauke; Ekurhuleni's Ethics and Integrity Committee chairperson. 

On Thursday, The Star reported on Gunikaya Dwenga's "plight" after he allegedly purchased a stand in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni, from Chauke for R15 800.

Mashatile said he was concerned by these reports, adding: "Should evidence emerge (of corruption), we will work closely with law enforcement agencies and if the land is not owned by the department, we will work with the owners in pursuit of justice."

The fraud unit, Mashatile added, will also probe Siphiwe Shongwe's ordeal, who is also from Ekurhuleni, where she went 20 years living in informal housing despite owning an RDP house in Tsakane.

Ma Shongwe, as she is affectionately known, told The Star she only found out she owned a house after being blacklisted for owing R20 000 in municipal debt in a house she had never lived in; let alone knew about.

Mashatile's department has since given Ma Shongwe a new house, but the MEC asserted that this would not be the end of it.

"Shongwe’s allocation of a house does not take away the fact that someone might have benefited illegally from a government house. The department will investigate the matter,” he said.   

Shongwe said the occupants of her old RDP house had told her that Chauke had sold the house to them.

Mashatile appealed to the public to report any suspected fraud and corruption in housing to the department's special unit on: (011) 355 4587/4229.

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The Star