Over two dozen arrested in Joburg's clampdown on hijacked Hillbrow buildings

22 September 2017 - 13:41 By Naledi Shange
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

Twenty-six people have been arrested in Johannesburg in raids on four hijacked buildings in Hillbrow‚ Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said on Friday.

Officials swooped into the abandoned buildings on Thursday‚ arresting mostly undocumented foreign nationals.

"One suspect wanted for various crimes was arrested during the operation. The suspect was also in possession of various motor vehicle keys‚" Mashaba said.

"A total of 25 undocumented foreign nationals were arrested during the operation and detained at the Hillbrow Police Station. Immigration officers from the Department of Home Affairs will now process those who were arrested to ascertain relevant information and will appear in court within 48 hours." The raided buildings were Wimbledon Court‚ Glenwood Court‚ Wellington Court and a property on 25 Koch Street.

Joined by officials from the Department of Home Affairs‚ City authorities collected information on the occupants of the buildings.

"It is vital that we profile occupants living in these buildings and ensure that together with the rightful owners we are able to find alternative accommodation for them where required. A consolidated report is currently being compiled by the relevant departments‚" said Mashaba.

"It is essential that we bring back the rule of law in our City and take it back from the criminal elements such as landlords who take advantage of desperate people and house them under deplorable conditions. I want to see rundown buildings turned into quality low cost housing for our residents and affordable rental spaces for small businesses‚" he said.