Six people, including a practicing attorney, were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly selling residential sites on an illegally occupied portion of a farm outside Polokwane, Limpopo.
The people living on Portion 41 of Kalkfontein farm outside Dalmada have been declared to be occupying the land illegally.
The farm is owned by Blue Dot Properties.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed the arrests to News24.
“We can confirm that six people were arrested and they will face charges of fraud,” Mojapelo said.
He said the suspects would appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
News24 understand that the six people also included the self-styled leader of the residents under the auspices of the Morena Seaka Home Owners’ Association. Some of the other suspects are also directors of the association and members of the Mojapelo tribal authority.
On Sunday, the residents, supported by the South African National Civic Organisation, staged a protest.
The more than 200 people, who live on Portion 41, have since renamed the area Morena Seaka View.
The land has been the subject of a land restitution claim launched by four tribal clans – the Mojapelo, Mothiba, Tholongwe and Mothapo, collectively known as Mamahule – in 1996.
The portion of land was invaded in 2015 and residential sites were then allegedly sold – illegally – to unsuspecting members of the public.
According to documents seen by News24, the residential sites were sold for R2 500 before they shot up to R120 000 in value in 2019.
The money was either paid in cash or deposited into Absa bank account number 9307465988. By the end of 2019, more than R3.8 million was collected.
Blue Dot has since obtained a court order declaring the residents illegal occupiers and that they must be evicted.
However, the residents, under the auspices of the Morena Seaka Home Owners’ Association, has now launched an application in the Limpopo High Court to force Blue Dot to give up the land.
The association’s director, Ngwanamaredi Francina Sebati, deposed an affidavit in which she said the land occupation was encouraged by Polokwane executive mayor Thembi Nkadimeng as a “protection settlement”.
Nkadimeng, though not joined in the matter, has since denied Sebati’s assertion.
The matter will be heard at a date yet to be confirmed.
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.