THE endless hijacking of buildings within the City of Johannesburg is a sore point for the city especially the Group Forensics and Investigations Services Unit.
According to GFIS Head, General Shadrack Sibiya, over 870 buildings have been hijacked within the city so far.
Though there are some success cases, says Sibiya, with 36 buildings having already been returned to their rightful owners, the fight is still far from being won.
Says Sibiya: “So far we have four convictions and are doing our best in playing our role. But, most of the time, since the process of investigation is much slower than that of people committing crime, we are most often overtaken by a sequence of events.”
According to Sibiya, their investigations have shown that December is the most common period when the buildings are hijacked hence their warning to their clients to be vigilant this festive season.
This, says Sibiya, is due to the fact that around this time people tend to go home on holiday thus making it easy for career criminals whose job is to hijack such buildings.
Three years ago, building hijacking kingpin Sinethemba Mkhumbuzi (46) and his accomplice Kenneth Ntila (61) were sentenced to 8 and 15 years imprisonment, respectively, by the Johannesburg Magistrates Court.
The two fraudulently hijacked Angus Mansions in the inner city after they had identified loopholes in the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) website and falsified company records registering themselves as the rightful owners of Angus Mansions.
According to GFIS, this took place between August and November of 2006.
The pair had identified that the 67-unitbuilding was owned by Philani Ma-Africa–a section 21 company.
(SOURCE: INSIDE METROS)