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Friday Jul 06, 2012

Hijacked Joburg property used as brothel

New owners of a building in the Joburg CBD were threatened with automatic weapons after trying to inspect their property, and they discovered that the six-storey building had been hijacked and turned into a brothel.

And even after Crimson Clover Trading (CCT) confronted police about the problem, they were told they'd need a court order before police could dismantle the prostitution ring.

Even yesterday, it appeared the brothel was still in operation.

Ulrich Roux of BDK Attorneys, who represents the company, said his client had bought the building for about R4 million and was planning to transform the decrepit structure into upscale apartments.

This was before the company's director, Halekopane Matsipa, and his team visited the building and discovered that a group of more 20 prostitutes had moved in.

Matsipa described the state of the building as "unliveable". There was just a single, filthy mattress on each level and discarded condom wrappers littered the floors.

The building is an empty shell with no doors or windows.

Roux said an investigation had revealed that the women in the building charged R30 for their services. He said it was alleged that part of this money was used to pay off police and other officials to allow the women to conduct their business.

When the construction cokmpany and a security team arrived at the site, ready to remove the building's illegal occupants, they were confronted by a group of men, some armed with assault rifles.

"The armed men and the (prostitutes) threatened us... and (said) we would be killed if we returned," Matsipa said.

Police at the scenewere unwilling to empty the building. "The police then ordered us to leave," he said.

A provincial police spokesman has urged BDK Attorneys to file a complaint against the officers involved.

Cape Times


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