Help sought to nail Hill­brow fraud­sters

The Star Late Edition - - METRO WATCH -

THE CITY OF Joburg is ap­peal­ing to mem­bers of the pub­lic who have in­for­ma­tion about al­leged fraud in the city’s rev­enue de­part­ment, re­gard­ing a block of flats in Hill­brow called Min­field, to come for­ward.

City mayor Her­man Mashaba an­nounced this week the ar­rest of a mem­ber of the pub­lic for de­fraud­ing the owner of the block of flats.

The po­lice are look­ing for two more sus­pects in con­nec­tion with the mat­ter and are ap­peal­ing for in­for­ma­tion.

One of these sus­pects is a for­mer em­ployee of the city, based in the rev­enue de­part­ment, and it is al­leged he is in­volved in a num­ber of other fraud cases.

The al­le­ga­tions come from the owner of the flats who claims she was de­frauded of R19 750 by these three sus­pects in June last year.

In 2015, the com­plainant ap­proached the coun­cil for as­sis­tance in ne­go­ti­at­ing for a pay­ment ar­range­ment re­gard­ing a wa­ter and lights debt of R1.3 mil­lion ac­cu­mu­lated by the block of flats, af­ter the owner passed away in 2000.

In April last year, the com­plainant paid the sus­pect R7 500 as part of the pay­ment ar­range­ment, but was not given a re­ceipt. Later, in June, the for­mer em­ployee asked for R9 000 for a clear­ance cer­tifi­cate and R2 250 to open a new elec­tric­ity ac­count.

A tax in­voice with the rev­enue de­part­ment’s let­ter­head was is­sued.

How­ever, when there were no changes in Min­field’s ac­count, the com­plainant re­alised she was be­ing de­frauded and re­ported the mat­ter to the foren­sic and in­ves­ti­ga­tion ser­vice de­part­ment.

“I would like to com­mend Com­mis­sioner Shadrack Sibiya’s team for act­ing swiftly in deal­ing with this mat­ter.

“This is just an ex­am­ple that, even if you re­sign, or get dis­missed from the city, you are not off the hook. We will pur­sue crim­i­nal charges and re­coup what is due to our res­i­dents,” said the mayor.

“Cor­rup­tion has no place in this ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“We will work tire­lessly, and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with in­sti­tu­tions such as the Hawks, SAPS and all other in­sti­tu­tions within the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, to en­sure that the res­i­dents of Joburg re­ceive the qual­ity ser­vices they de­serve.”

Mashaba said peo­ple should re­port any fraud and cor­rup­tion ac­tiv­i­ties on the 24-hour tip-off hot­line 0800 002 587.

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