Case against alleged house scammers postponed

A fraud and theft case against three accused has been postponed to 21 July.

Another postponement was granted in the case against ANC member and community leader, Simphiwe Hlafa and his co-accused, Mthokozisi Magwara and Nokuthula Mkhize.

The trio appeared briefly in the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on 30 June on charges of fraud and theft for their alleged involvement in the illegal sale of houses. The trio allegedly defrauded two desperate homebuyers of thousands of rand.

They are charged with two counts of fraud, where the State alleges that they defrauded their victims of R165 000 and R187 000 respectively.

READ: ANC leader in the dock for the alleged illegal sale of a house

According to an affidavit filed by one of the victims, he was given the impression that they were estate agents when he met them. He said he was asked to pay a R10 000 administration fee. He paid the amount and was later asked for a further R150 000, which was supposed to be for the purchase of a house in Malvern.

He made the second payment but never occupied the house.

The victim also said he made a further R5 000 payment which he was allegedly told by the accused was for the electricity and water connections.

He explained that he got suspicious when the accused sent him from pillar to post when he tried to occupy his supposedly newly purchased house.

After realising that he might have been scammed, the victim opened a case with the police with the hope of recovering the money.

The legal representative of the three accused, Kazamula Mathe, told the court that he wrote a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), asking for charges against Mkhize to be withdrawn. According to the defence attorney, Mkhize was an employee of the two other accused and was not directly involved in the alleged criminal activity.

Magistrate Thandi Twele postponed the matter to 21 July, to allow the DPP to make a decision on whether Mkhize should be prosecuted or not.

The State has completed its investigation and is ready to proceed. Prosecutor Vincent Ndzuke told the court previously that he was ready to set a trial date.

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