Joburg investigative unit helps owner get hijacked building back

Mayor Mashaba disappointed that a case could not be opened because the caretaker fears for his life

Mashaba lauds City of Joburg investigative unit for helping owner get hijacked CBD building back

4 October 2018

The City of Johannesburg's Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) unit successfully stopped the hijacking of the Grand Station Hotel in Jeppestown, said Mayor Herman Mashaba.

Three suspected property hijackers were prevented from forcefully taking control of the building on Tuesday after the rightful owner approached the GFIS for assistance.

"The GFIS team who were accompanied by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) rushed to the property and found a group of armed men manning the entrance to the property," said Mashaba in a statement.

"It is alleged that the caretaker of the hijacked property was threatened and chased away by the men. The suspected hijackers temporarily took control of the property, and demanded that monthly rental should be paid directly to them and not to the owner."

Mashaba said the men were removed from the Grand Station Hotel by JMPD and GFIS, and the property was handed over to the owner, who was advised to increase security personnel on the property.

No case was opened against the suspected hijackers.

"I am disappointed that a case could not be opened because the caretaker fears for his life. It is alleged that the caretaker was once shot and wounded when hijackers tried to hijack the property," Mashaba said. "Nonetheless, it pleases me to know that another property is taken back to the rightful owner."

The Johannesburg mayor, who says he wants to get rid of all property hijackers, urged anyone who is a victim of property hijacking to come forward and report it.

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