Three alleged Joburg 'property hijackers' arrested

Three women who are alleged to have "hijacked" a building in central Johannesburg have been arrested, the City’s mayor Herman Mashaba said on Sunday.

"Three female suspected property hijackers, who hijacked Doreen Court for 10 years, were arrested in Bellevue East this past Friday night,” he said in a statement.

The women were apparently tenants themselves at Doreen Court, when they hijacked the builder from the owner in 2008. 

"They reneged from their obligation of paying monthly rental to the owner and subsequently subletted the property to unsuspecting individuals," said Mashaba.

"The suspected hijackers were unlawfully collecting monthly rent from the subtenants without the consent of the owner. The owner was also denied access to his property."

Mashaba said that the arrests was a result of a sting operation between the the South African police as well as the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service department.

The three are due in the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of fraud as well as contravening the Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act.