House scam suspect is nabbed
THE HAWKS arrested a woman at the weekend for illegally selling council stands and RDP houses after an investigation starting in August last year.
The suspect, Linah Maphopha, was arrested on Friday and appeared on charges of fraud.
Maphopha worked as a volunteer at the City of Johannesburg’s Ivory Park housing department offices.
Lucky Sindane, the city’s group forensic and investigations services (GFIS) spokesperson, said the investigation follows one by GFIS and the Hawks after a complaint was received from a person who bought two RDP houses at a cost of R150 000 in Ivory Park, north of Joburg.
“The scam has been in operation since 2012. The first complainant was sold vacant land illegally and had indicated to the suspect that he would pay the remaining balance of the money after he received the papers for the stand, which he never received. The other complainant was working as a volunteer at the department and was told he would get the money he paid back, but that did not happen either.”
The complainant met Maphopha in September 2014 and she allegedly told the complainant that she had two available RDP houses for sale, illegally occupied by illegal immigrants. Each RDP house was allegedly sold for R75 000.
Sindane said the modus operandi of the scammers was to go house-to-house claiming that they were officials who were updating title deeds.
“They would then find people living in the houses and offer to assist them to get their own houses for R65 000. There are people who are occupying these houses illegally,” said Sindane.
“In December 2014, an amount of R100 000 was paid into the suspect’s bank account. A further R50 000 was paid into the suspect’s bank account. Despite making full payments, no keys for the RDP houses were handed to the complainants,” said the GFIS.
According to the statement, Maphopha had also scammed other people in Ivory Park.
“In 2012, the suspect illegally sold a vacant stand to a member of the public for R65 000. Only R55 000 was paid into her account and the second complainant promised to pay the balance upon occupation.”
Scammers claim to be officials updating records