Three arrested for running daycare on hijacked property in JHB

Three people who allegedly ran a child daycare centre at a hijacked property in Ridgeway, south of Johannesburg, were arrested on Friday night. 

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said in a statement that the arrests follow on from a sting operation led by the City’s group forensic and investigation services (GFIS) department, which found that the owner of the property owes the City R105 000 for services.

The SA Police Service and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department formed part of the operation.

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"It is alleged that the rightful owner bought the property from Nedbank in September 2015 and had a warrant of ejectment obtained and served by the sheriff on the occupier, who was the previous owner of the property," said Mashaba. 

"The previous owner agreed to adhere to the order and move out within 10 days of having been served but never moved out."

According to Mashaba, another eviction order was granted and executed in March this year and security officers were appointed to guard the property, but on the same day the previous owner reinvaded the property and had the security officers arrested and charged with malicious damage to property.

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"I am delighted that another property owner has finally gained control of their property which was in the hands of the hijackers. This brings the total number of properties handed back to their rightful owners [in Johannesburg] to 28.

"Criminals must know that they might run, but there is no place for them to hide in Johannesburg.  Operation Buya Mthetho remains determined to ensuring that the rule of law is restored to our communities."

The three are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. They will be charged with trespassing and malicious damage to property.