3 people linked to alleged property hijacking syndicate in Joburg nabbed: 'Etlang Pretoria'

3 people linked to alleged property hijacking syndicate in Joburg nabbed: 'Etlang Pretoria'

  • Three people part of a group suspected of involvement in a property hijacking syndicate have been arrested
  • The arrests come after SAPS pounced on a property in Booysens in Johannesburg on Friday morning
  • GFIS spokesperson Lucky Sindane said his department received a complaint in May about the alleged syndicate

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JOHANNESBURG - A suspected property hijacking syndicate has been uncovered in the south of Johannesburg, and three people suspected of involvement in it were arrested by police on Friday.

Group Forensic Investigation Services (GFIS), a department of the City of Joburg (CoJ), received a tip-off from an anonymous source about the alleged syndicate.

3 people linked to alleged property hijacking syndicate in Joburg nabbed: 'Etlang Pretoria'
A group linked to a property hijacking syndicate has been arrested. Image: Tshepiso Mametela.
Source: Original

Briefly News understands the group illegally occupied and operated properties in Booysens, which forms part of the greater Johannesburg metropolitan that has long been a breeding ground for the occupation of abandoned buildings.

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According to a TimesLive report, GFIS spokesperson Lucky Sindane, who Briefly News unsuccessfully attempted to contact, said his department received a complaint in May about several properties that had been hijacked in the area.

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“An investigation was conducted before the matter was referred to the South African Police Service (SAPS)'s provincial organised crime unit for further investigation,” said Sindane.

Sindane confirmed that three suspects were arrested following a sting operation, having monitored the alleged syndicate for a few months.

Stern warning to other criminals

In another report by Polity.org.za, he also warned other property hijackers in and around the city of the ills of their crimes.

"They must know that there is no place for them to hide. We will not leave any stone unturned when dealing with criminal activities in the city," said Sindane.

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"It's important to return law and order in the City and take it back from the criminalswho take desperate people for a ride by housing them under deplorable conditions."

Locals on social media were vocal about the prevalence of the occupation of abandoned buildings in the inner city and other parts of Gauteng, including Pretoria.

South Africans reactionary to efforts

Briefly News brings readers some of the glaring remarks from concerned citizens calling on the government to do more about the social ill.

@Jali Sandile wrote:

"What nationality are they and do they have valid papers to even be in South Africa?"

@Fikile Nozombile said:

"And you forget to mention their nationality."

@Ofentse Fly Madumo added:

"Etlang Pretoria tuu."

Mzansi reacts to City of Joburg taking back 44 hijacked buildings

In a previous related story, Briefly News reported that CoJ had its fair share of controversies in the past, including the Alex Shutdown in 2019.

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However, the public had nothing but praise for the City after it revealed progress on the state of hijacked properties in its jurisdiction.

In total, the city's authorities reclaimed 44 hijacked properties, which were all returned to the rightful owners. However, at the time, the total list of hijacked properties amounted to 643.

Source: Briefly News

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