Additional Charges Levied in Mpumalanga RDP House Fraud Case

MPUMALANGA – The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in Middelburg has issued new court summonses to three individuals previously arrested and released on bail for fraud involving RDP houses. Annica Van Staden (48), Helga Kruger (51, an estate agent), and Mr. Foto Boy Makua, also known as Fofo (55), face these fresh charges after victims reported being evicted from their homes.

According to South African Police Service, the summonses were issued following new complaints about illegal evictions. Annica Van Staden was ordered to appear in the Middelburg Regional Court E on Tuesday, 7 November 2023. This court appearance is in relation to a complaint by Mr. Samson Makhuwana Shilwane, who alleged that Van Staden sold his house without his consent while he was undergoing a divorce. The sale came to his attention when the buyer, Smangele Nhlabathi, tried to evict him, presenting purchase documents for R280,000 with a forged signature.

In a separate incident, Helga Kruger is accused of selling a house in eMbalenhle to Wiston Maluleka, who deposited R200,000 into Kruger’s Capitec bank account but lost contact with her until legal proceedings began. She appeared in court on a Friday regarding this case.

On Monday, 6 November 2023, Foto Boy Makua was served a summons for additional fraud charges. Makua, the sole director of Foto Security Services, is alleged to have accepted a R150,000 deposit into his company’s FNB account from Mrs. Frieda Masemola for an RDP house purchase. Masemola later discovered that the house in Mhluzi, Middelburg, was never transferred to her name and was re-advertised for sale. Investigation revealed the house belonged to Lukhele Trust, leading to a fraud allegation and a loss of R150,000 for the complainant.

Furthermore, it’s alleged that on 24 June 2014, Kruger advertised RDP houses for sale in Middelburg on behalf of Housing First Property, registered under Annica van Staden’s name. A property sold for R100,000 was paid into Foto Security Services’ account, despite legal requirements that such transactions go through a conveyancing attorney’s trust account. The actual owner of the property had not authorized its sale.

The Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Gerber, has urged the public who have been similarly defrauded to come forward, assuring confidentiality in handling their reports. Investigating Officer Warrant Officer Bapela is available for contact. The Major General emphasized the importance of public cooperation in these investigations.

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