Government probes sale of RDPs

THE department of local government and housing in Limpopo is investigating allegations that certain municipal officials are selling RDP houses meant for the poor to the "haves".

This comes after a senior officer based at the Polokwane municipality was arrested last Thursday for allegedly selling an RDP house for R15000.

Police identified the man as Steve Motimele, who worked in the housing department's normalisation programme.

Police spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe said Motimele, 59, had allegedly printed forged municipal documents to lure victims to part with their money.

Ngoepe said Motimele was allegedly approached by a certain man who was desperate for accommodation because he had recently found a job in Polokwane.

Motimele allegedly forged the documents and handed them to the man to sign and demanded R15000.

"Motimele gave the man the street and house numbers in Lethuli location outside Polokwane where he was to move in.

"But on arrival the 'house owner' found other occupants in the house, whom he showed documents proving his ownership of the house.

"The occupants were shocked and told the man they were also sold the same house by another municipal officer from the same municipality," Ramatseba said.

The victim realised he had been conned and alerted the police. Motimele was arrested the same day.

Meanwhile, three officials including Ba-Phalaborwa municipality ward councillors, have been accused of demanding R300 from RDP applicants.

The trio, whose names cannot be released since the matter is still under investigation, had allegedly forced applicants to pay R300 to guarantee their positions on the allocation list for RDP houses.

One applicant, who spoke to Sowetan on condition of anonymity, said officials said they would make sure they jumped the queue and were placed at the top of the list.

Local government and housing general manager Clayson Monyela said the department had since discovered 50 cases of government officials and ordinary people who sold houses at the lowest possible price.