More than 100 people arrested in raids on hijacked Joburg buildings
A total of 102 people were arrested on Friday night in a crime prevention operation carried out by the City of Johannesburg at several hijacked properties along Davies Street in Doornfontein.
An alleged property hijacker had also been arrested during the operation‚ Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba said on Saturday.
“Another property hijacker fled the scene. However‚ we will pursue the matter together with the South African Police Services (SAPS)‚” Mashaba said .
He said Hijacked buildings were a major challenge in the inner city‚ with people living in deplorable conditions and being abused by slumlords.
“I pleased by the Police Ministry’s acknowledgement of the serious challenge posed by hijacked buildings in the inner City and their clear commitment to work together with the City to tackle this problem. This follows comments made by the Deputy Minister of Police‚ Mr Bongani Mkongi‚ yesterday‚” Mashaba added.
Friday night’s operation was led by the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Services Department in conjunction with the SAPS‚ Department of Home Affairs‚ Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD)‚ Emergency Management Services (EMS)‚ and the City’s Environmental Health‚ Citizen Relationship and Urban Management and Social Development departments.
During the operation‚ two people were arrested for the illegal possession of drugs. Several dangerous weapons including seven knives were also confiscated during the operation‚ Mashaba said.
“A total of 98 undocumented persons were arrested as part of the operation and detained at the Jeppestown Police Station. Immigration officers from the Department of Home Affairs will now process those who were detained.
“One shop owner was also served with a R20‚000 fine by the SAPS for employing undocumented persons.”
Several shops along Rocky Street were inspected and it was discovered that some of the shops were selling expired goods. Fines for second hand goods and other environmental health contraventions were issued. Four warning were issued by EMS.
One person was also arrested for the possession of a fraudulent City of Johannesburg Certificate of Acceptability‚ purported to have been issued by The City's Environmental Health department.
“If we are going to turn around the decay of our inner city‚ it is vital that the rule of law is respected. I see the revitalisation of the inner city as key to ensuring economic growth and job creation in Joburg.
“I want to see rundown buildings turned into quality low cost housing for our residents and affordable rental spaces for small businesses. We are committed to ensuring that we stop the rot in our inner city and make it a prosperous and inclusive place for our people to live work and play‚” Mashaba said.