AN OPERATION led by various stakeholders has resulted in people arrested during a raid on hijacked buildings in downtown Johannesburg on Thursday.
Led by the Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba, eleven people were arrested during a raid in Hillbrow and Berea.
Five immigrants, who were undocumented were arrested‚ along with six others who were arrested for various crimes.
Properties targeted included Vannin Court in Hillbrow and Killibility Court in Berea, respectively.
“Hijacked buildings are one of the major challenges we face in the City‚ however‚ I am pleased with the strides we are making to address this challenge‚” said Mashaba.
“In the past three weeks we arrested 3 property hijackers. I am pleased that a husband and his wife who were arrested early this month for hijacking a property in Kenilworth are still in custody.
The couple appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday and were denied bail.”
Mashaba said the city had conducted an audit of about 500 “bad” buildings‚ about 134 of which were confirmed as hijacked. Twenty-four belong to the city.
The sting done in partnership with City’s group forensic and investigation services department‚ together with the South African Police Service (SAPS)‚ Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD)‚ Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the City’s Environmental Health‚ Citizen Relationship and Urban Management and Social Development departments.
“It is essential that we bring back the rule of law in our City and take it back from the criminal elements such as landlords who take advantage of desperate people and house them under deplorable conditions‚” he pointed out.
Mashaba also thanked the SAPS for their continued effort to fight the scourge of hijacked buildings in the City.