Police in the Mount Road Cluster, Port Elizabeth will be coming down hard and fast on homeowners and landlords of properties whereby their houses/flats are being used to conduct criminal activities.
Cluster Commander for Mount Road Cluster, Maj Gen Thembisile Patekile is warning these owners or landlords that “Playtime is over and we are going to make sure that if there is reasonable suspicion that these properties are used as drug dens, brothels gang related criminalities, shebeens etc, that these houses/flats may be seized and forfeited to the State. We will work with the necessary authorities with a view to evict the owners from their houses,” added Maj Gen Patekile.
The Asset Forfeiture Unit will be roped in and those owners who are involved in criminal acts will have all their property attached. “These houses (municipal) were given by the government for shelter and not to be used as a haven for criminal activities. Home owners/letting agents renting out properties have a right to inspect the property from time to time and if any illegal or unlawful business is conducted, they have the right to terminate the lease. Failing which, the State can attach the property of the owner/ landlord if there is proof that the house is used for illegal activities and that the rent obtained can be seen as proceeds of crime (POCA). The owner of the house/landlord will be investigated under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act of 1998, (Act 21 of 1998).’
The strong stance that police will be engaging upon is to send out a warning that we cannot allow criminals to ply their trade among innocent and law abiding citizens whose lives are at risk every day. We will be resolute in making sure that these offenders are deprived of the proceeds of crime. We are urging the communities to report such suspicions to the police and such information may be communicated anonymously on 08600 10111 or SMS Line 32211. All information will be strictly confidential.