Municipal official among three arrested for 'selling' RDP homes
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DURBAN - A municipal official has appeared alongside two others for fraud, corruption, forgery, theft and money laundering. The trio allegedly scammed people into ’buying’ RDP homes.
Emalahleni Municipality official Vusumuzi Phakane, Justice Sambo and Caroline Koloane were nabbed by members of the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team Mpumalanga on Wednesday.
Hawks spokesperson, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi, said in October last year, Phakane who is employed by Municipality as Community Municipal Coordinator had access to information on RDP houses around Emalahleni and allegedly colluded with Sambo to sell those houses.
"The two approached Kgoalane and used her as the advertiser. The unsuspecting victims would respond to the advert seen on social media and be directed by the syndicate to the Municipality offices to complete the agreement of sale forms," she said.
Sekgotodi said they would be further advised to go to the lawyers for the agreement and the victims became convinced that the sale is legitimate.
"They would be told to make the payment into Sambo's Nedbank account. The syndicate allegedly shared the money amongst themselves," she said.
Whilst the victim occupies the newly purchased house, other victims would also come and produce documents as proof of purchase for the same house. The victims lost approximately R300 000.
The matter was reported to the Hawks for investigation. During the investigation it was established that the lawful owners of the houses is still alive. The suspects were linked to the allegations, traced and arrested.
The three suspects appeared in court, Phakane and Kgoalane were released on R10 000 bail each while Sambo was remanded in custody because he has previous convictions.
The case was postponed to 20 August 2021 for Sambo's formal bail applications
Provincial Head of the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation Major General Zodwa Mokoena warned the public about fraudsters who are unlawfully selling the government houses.