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Thursday Nov 29, 2012

Tshwane to probe illegal land sales

The Tshwane Metro Council has warned that land invasions will not be tolerated in its area of jurisdiction and drastic action will be taken against those who illegally sell and invade land.

"We will not hesitate to take drastic action against those involved in land invasion or the illegal sale of land," said Joshua Ngonyama, the member of the mayoral committee responsible for housing.

This comes after a group of residents were allegedly sold stands in Soshanguve Extension 6, near Rosslyn.

The residents built shacks on the land earlier this week and the Red Ants were called in to dismantle them.

Some of the residents said they had paid about R16 000 for the stands.

They said they knew the people who had illegally sold them land.

A resident - who did not want to be named for fear of victimisation - claimed he had been trying to blow the whistle on the scam.

He told the Pretoria News that he had information on those behind the illegal sale of land.

The man said what worried residents was that people from as far afield as Hammanskraal and Mamelodi had been allocated stands in the area.

He claimed that most of the stands in Extensions 12 and 13 were occupied by people who had been allocated land illegally.

Ngonyama said the city would investigate all aspects of the issue, especially allegations that council employees were involved.

"If those involved in the illegal sale of land are [council] officials they will be dismissed," Ngonyama said.

"We will also lay criminal charges against those involved in the scam."

Ngonyama said there had also been rumours that some ward committee members were involved in the illegal sale of stands.

"We will not hesitate against these people."

Ngonyama said those who paid money for stands should come forward and state their case in an affidavit.

"We need written proof in the form of an affidavit to be able to act against those involved in the scam."

Ngonyama said the council's investigative unit would move into the area soon to probe the illegal sale of land.

Acting ward councillor Sello Huma said he had instructed people who had paid for the stands to write affidavits.

The affidavits would be warded to the metro police.

Huma said "land mafias" in the area were illegally selling land.

He said most of these "land mafias" worked with developers, who promised they could build houses for those who purchased land.

"What they are doing is illegal and we cannot allow this to happen."

Huma said he was not aware that any ward committee members were involved in the illegal sales.

"The information I have is that area committee members are the ones who are involved in the illegal sale of land."

Huma said illegal land invasions had increased in the Soshanguve area.

"We cannot allow these people to illegally occupy sites."

Most of the people who bought land illegally were from outside Soshanguve.

Huma said the area where the illegal occupation took place was earmarked for an RDP housing project.

The RDP houses would be allocated to people who qualified, Huma said.

"These beneficiaries are on the housing waiting and they are entitled to those RDP houses.

"People cannot just jump waiting list for RDP houses.

"They should also not spend their money on buying land illegally."

Pretoria News


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