Joburg “Bad Buildings” raid: over 100 people questioned, 25 arrested

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On Wednesday, a joint operation conducted by the police, Johannesburg Metro Police Department, Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department, SAPS, Midvaal traffic police and a security company yielded 25 arrests.

The authorities raided “hijacked” and problem buildings in Hillbrow and the Johannesburg CBD, so the raid was code-named Operation Bad Buildings. According to Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, this issue is a major problem in the inner city. The residents live in deplorable conditions and are abused by slumlords who extort money from them.

As JMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar stated, the raid had focused on hijacked buildings because criminals used them. The task team looked for the criminal elements and checked if the municipality by-laws were being contravened.

“We found undocumented foreign nationals. This was a joint operation and we will be going to other areas in Gauteng, targeting hijacked buildings because we have found that they harbour criminals who attack innocent people,” Minnaar confirmed.

The operation, that included the buildings of Vannin and Stensby courts as well as Eastgate and Bluehuise, resulted in 124 people questioned. 21 people believed to be illegal immigrants were arrested for not having any legal documents. Three men were arrested for possession of illegal ammunition and a handmade rifle. One more man was arrested for selling liquor without a licence.

During the raid, the authorities also seized Okapi knives, scissors, pangas, axes, illegal ammunition and hammers.

“This operation was a success in that we were able to sift out criminals in possession of firearms and ammunition, and also we were able to track undocumented foreign nationals,” Minaar advised.

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