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Three arrested for using Joburg MMC's face in housing fraud scheme

Three suspects will appeal for bail at the Hillbrow magistrate' s court on Tuesday after allegedly defrauding would-be home owners. Stock photo.
Three suspects will appeal for bail at the Hillbrow magistrate' s court on Tuesday after allegedly defrauding would-be home owners. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/STOCKSTUDIO44

Three suspects are expected to appear in the Hillbrow magistrate’s court soon for housing fraud in Johannesburg.

Housing MMC councillor Mlungisi Mabaso said the trio allegedly used his name in fake social media accounts to solicit money from unsuspecting people in need of homes by promising to give them RDP houses in exchange for cash.

According to a statement by the MMC on Monday, the three suspects were arrested in Limpopo and found in possession of items depicting Mabaso’s face. The suspects registered a fraudulent cellphone number that was allegedly used to extort money from unsuspecting citizens.

The main suspect was arrested at the weekend, a week after police nabbed his two accomplices. 

Mabaso welcomed the arrest. He opened a case against the men in July last year after becoming aware of the scam.

“The arrests are a breakthrough in the fight against fraud and corruption and they send a strong message to those who are defrauding people that they will feel the full might of the law.’’

He reiterated that government houses were not for sale.

“If you have applied for a house, there is an allocation process to be followed and I urge residents to be patient until it is their turn”, he said.

He urged the public to report to the police any person or official who demands money in exchange for a house.

TimesLIVE


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