'Estate agent' nabbed for fraud linked to R3m scam spanning three provinces

A bogus Mpumalanga estate agent accused of fraud has been linked to a wider scam amounting to R3m.
A bogus Mpumalanga estate agent accused of fraud has been linked to a wider scam amounting to R3m.
Image: 123RF/3DRENDERINGS

A bogus estate agent accused of fraudulently selling houses to desperate buyers has been linked to a wider scam spanning three provinces and amounting to more than R3m.

Annica van Staden, 46, appeared in the Middelburg magistrate's court on Wednesday on fraud charges after being rearrested this week in Boksburg. She had been sought by authorities since November after failing to appear in court after her initial arrest in Soweto in 2019. 

Now Van Staden, who allegedly posed as an estate agent with a cohort, has been linked to more fraud cases in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Mpumalanga. Mpumalanga Hawks spokesperson Capt Dineo Sekgotodi said Van Staden allegedly used various disguises to scam people out of their money.

“In Middelburg she was selling RDP, repossessed and private owners' houses. In Protea Glen she was selling bricks, building cement and air-conditioners.

“In Piet Retief and Cape Town [Brackenfell] she was selling vehicles [while] in Lydenburg she was selling containers. The amount involved is about R3m.”

Van Staden used social media to advertise her businesses. Her Facebook page showed used vehicles, cement and trailers for sale. 

Sekgotodi said the arrest of Van Staden's accomplices was imminent.

Van Staden's case was postponed to next Monday to give her a chance to acquire legal representation. She remains in custody until then.

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