Kgosientso Ramokgopa. Picture: Jacques Naude/ANA
Pretoria - The former ANC-led administration in Tshwane has been cast at the centre of dodgy land deals which saw the metro paying R176 million for overpriced properties.

DA provincial leader John Moodey fingered the municipality, then led by mayor Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa, as having facilitated shady deals involving purchases of the Strydfontein, Klipfontein and Roodepoort farms.

He said: “Strydfontein was bought for R117m, but sold to the City for R211m; Klipfontein bought for R53m and sold to the City for R85.5m on the same day.

“The Roodepoort 504 farm in Bronkhorstspruit was sold for R40m by its original owner and sold to the City 40 days later for R90m.”

He said he wanted to set the record straight following “misleading media reports”.

Reports emanated from a case lodged by civil rights organisation AfriForum with the police on Monday against the City.

The charges were also laid against three companies Proco Management, Linked Thoughts Consulting and Faragamo Trading.

In a media statement, AfriForum said Proco Management, Linked Thoughts Consulting and Faragamo Trading acted as go-between when the three farms were sold to the City at prices higher than their market value.

Head of AfriForum’s anti-corruption unit Monique Taute said: “About R176m from taxpayers’ money was squandered as a result of the alleged corrupt land transactions. It is unacceptable that no steps have been taken against the senior officials involved in the transactions.”

In the wake of the report, mayor Stevens Mokgalapa said the City had long instituted an investigation into land transactions after complaints emerged in May.

He assured the public that any official found on the wrong side of the law would not go unpunished.

Moodey welcomed Mokgalapa’s response to investigate the deals and act against those implicated in corruption.

“Most significantly, these purchases and the negotiations thereof happened prior to the DA taking over the administration of the City in 2016 when it was under the control of the ANC. This corruption happened during Ramokgopa’s tenure. This was way before the DA’s time in office,” he said.

ANC regional secretary Bonzo Modise said although he was not familiar with the deals, he was aware that it was not surprising for a seller to determine prices.

“In terms of land transaction, the owner has got ultimate say in terms of the pricing. If, for example, you bought land for R1.5m you will be the one who will determine the price,” he said.

Pretoria News