Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety in Johannesburg, Mgcini Tshwaku, has reported significant progress in identifying several suspected masterminds behind the hijacking of buildings in the inner city.
Tshwaku made this revelation during a recent operation conducted by City Power, which involved disconnecting electricity to numerous hijacked buildings in the Jeppestown area.
According to Tshwaku, a notable development is that many of the suspected kingpins behind these hijackings are legal professionals, specifically lawyers. It has come to light that some occupants of these buildings are making rental payments to trusts overseen by these lawyers, diverting funds that should rightfully go to the city.
VIDEO: City of Joburg declares war on hijacked buildings
This practice has raised concerns about the legitimacy of these arrangements.
One lawyer named Jan de Baas, residing in Florida, is among those implicated in the hijacking of the Tigerburg building, which comprises approximately 125 units. Authorities are actively pursuing leads and gathering evidence to build cases against these alleged criminal networks.
Tshwaku emphasized that law enforcement agencies are intensifying their efforts to address this issue, with undercover units deployed to gather crucial intelligence. The city is determined to clamp down on these illicit activities and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.
The crackdown on hijacked buildings in Johannesburg comes on the backdrop of numerous building fires in the inner city. It also reflects ongoing efforts to restore law and order, improve living conditions for residents, and combat illegal activities that have plagued the inner city for years.
VIDEO: Legal process when a building is hijacked
⚠️ Traffic Advisory ⚠️
Rissik Str in the JHB CBD is closed off to traffic btw Albert & Anderson Str due to a building on fire. Also, expect closures on Frederick Str & on Joubert Str. Traffic is being diverted at Albert Str. @CityofJoburgEMS & #JMPD on scene. #JHBTraffic pic.twitter.com/JFLFgMreEs
— Jo’burg Metro Police Department – JMPD (@JoburgMPD) September 20, 2023
The operation disconnect hijacked buildings in Inner-City was a success . 28 Betty Building , the Medici House were successfully disconnected.
We would like to thank the MMC Jack Sekwaila, Dr Mgcini… pic.twitter.com/1bDIMRqHl8
— @CityPowerJhb (@CityPowerJhb) September 20, 2023
— COJ People’s MMC Public Safety (@PublicSafetyMMC) September 20, 2023