Statement on hijacking of buildings in Gauteng
6 Aug 2009
Members of the media
Colleagues from South African Police Services
Officials from the department
I am deeply concerned about the new wave of criminal activity that has come on our shores, the scourge of building hijacking. Although successes on arrests of perpetrators and conviction rate has steadily increased, I remain concerned as this type of criminality puts our communities out in the streets, while the perpetrators rake in huge profits that are not legitimate.
Information at our disposal reveals that over 12 buildings in Gauteng have been reportedly hijacked, in the recent past. It is also noted with concern that over 158 undocumented people were found in some of the hijacked buildings. I hereby wish to give a stern warning to band of criminals that their time is up. If they do not comply with the notice which will be given to them to properly provide documentation of ownership for verification, they will be termed building hijackers, and we will fall upon them like a ton of bricks.
The law will act decisively to root out these criminals. Starting from the 26 to 28 August 2009, we shall be raiding all these building across the province, particularly in Johannesburg. During these raids we shall be demanding proof of ownership. Failure to produce will have extremely negative consequences as we may deem the person a hijacker. Tenants have nothing to fear in these raids. Instead their co-operation with the law enforcement agents will be to their benefit
The offensive that the department will unleash is not aimed at the tenants but building warlord who continue to enslave our people by extracting from them, unlawfully, huge rental fees.
We also are aware that these criminals at times work hand in glove with council official from different municipalities. However, this crime is most endemic in Johannesburg, particularly within the central business district (CBD).
I thank you for taking time to attend this media briefing.
Cell: 084 805 2247
Issued by: Department of Community Safety, Gauteng Provincial Government
6 August 2009
Source: Department of Community Safety, Gauteng Provincial Government (http://www.gautsafety.gpg.gov.za/)
Issued by: Gauteng Community Safety
6 Aug 2009
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