Not Only Cars – Buildings Are Equally Hijacked In South Africa
Post by Nedu
Yeah you read right. Buildings are being hijacked and people are living in buildings they do not own. Mind you, this is not the usual event of people occupying “abandoned” building. It is however, according to Paul Jackson the CEO of Thuf ltd. – a property investment company, a case where “buildings that are clearly owned and managed” are hijacked. Paul equally related that “the biggest form of hijacking are in the light industrial areas…where old underused or unused industrial buildings have been taken over by people who don’t own them”
According to reports, the incidence of building hijacking is re-surging and is on increase in the inner city of Johannesburg. Reporting this happening, Mail&Guardian narrated that “the total number of hijacked buildings in the inner city is unknown. Estimates vary from tens to hundreds. The City of Johannesburg said 19 properties were reported to the department as hijacked during the 2014-2015 financial year”. It however added that the “Hawks were investigating 11 property hijackings”.
Based on a recent report, the Inner City Property Scheme (ICPS), a City of Johannesburg initiative, it was estimated that 400 buildings in the inner city have been taken over by the hijackers. meanwhile, there are indications that the number of hijacked buildings could be much higher than estimated. This is so because almost nothing has been done to stop hijackers who impose themselves as body corporate or agents of buildings they don’t own, and thereby illegal dispossession of lawful owners of the right to use and benefit from their properties.
As reported, the hijackers even “hire a security company to intimidate and assault residents who do not want to pay them”
Who Are The Hijackers?
Well we know who they are. Mail&Guardian revealed that a group identified as the Mzansi Progressive Movement aligned with the South African Communist Party have successfully hijacked a number of buildings.
Paul supported this claim when he testified that they “were forcibly and violently stopped by a group of people, a lot of people, dressed in SACP shirts,” when they tried to reclaim Ridge -one of the building hijacked-. He further revealed that “the tenants at the Ridge were requested and then required to pay rent to the hijackers”, and that they “have evidence of forcible requirements to pay R1 000 per unit per month”.
Nevertheless, Alex Mashilo the spokesperson for the SCAP said he had no knowledge of the Manzi Progressive Movement, and emphasized that the SACP as part of its agenda to fight crime and corruption is opposed to the hijacking of buildings.