Dingindoda: Lawyer claims George Xaba’s company pocketed over R13bn 

Dingindoda: Lawyer claims George Xaba's company pocketed over R13bn
ACCOUNTABLE: Emalahleni Housing Company boss George Xaba has allegedly collected over R13bn in rent at the Dingindoda settlement over the past 15 years. PICTURE BY 013NEWS/ZK

He now wants everybody to come answer before court thereafter the tenants can be evicted, he doesn’t have a problem.

A lawyer representing scores of Dingindoda tenants fighting eviction at the eMalahleni Magistrates Court has made shocking claims about George Xaba’s company, telling the tenants that a discovery has been made about the Emalahleni Housing Company’s pocketing of over R13 billion from them in the past 15 years. 

This will now be used by Simon Setsoalo – the lawyer – when fighting Xaba in court on behalf of the hundreds of tenants.

It could also see a lot of municipal officials, like former municipal manager Theo van Vuuren, being dragged to come answer questions in court.  

Setsoalo said indeed van Vuuren will be called “to come give evidence” on 10 October 2019 when the case sits again. He will have to give evidence on certain documents that claim he authorised or gave ownership of the Dingindoda settlement to Xaba’s company while he was municipal manager.

The case has now been postponed to the Thursday morning of 10 October when Xaba will have to come to court with “proof of payments from 2004 until 2019”, said Setsoalo .

“This was a presidential housing project, built under the leadership of former President Thabo Mbeki and the intention was to sell these houses to the people. So now, when the project failed the Emalahleni Housing Company hijacked the project in 2004 and converted the project to be rental stock when the intention of this project was not for the purpose of renting,” Setsoalo said. 

Dingindoda: Lawyer claims George Xaba's company pocketed over R13bn
Formally known as uThingo Park, the Dingindoda rental settlement in Tasbet Park, eMalahleni that is now a scene for battle of control between George Xaba and the tenants who say they will no longer pay rent and are taking over the public homes. The lawyer of the tenants, Simon Setsoalo, said he smells victory while they’re in the middle of a dark tunnel

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Xaba is currently at the eMalahleni Magistrates Court asking the magistrate to evict all his tenants who have been refusing to pay rent since last year September. 

The tenants say they have been paying too much rent and believe it’s time they own the government-built homes but Xaba says they are demanding too much now. 

He says the tenants should leave the property and excuse him. He wants to get new tenants who will pay rent. The tenants say they are going nowhere. Then Xaba turns off the electricity.

Dingindoda: Lawyer claims George Xaba's company pocketed over R13bn
Lawyer for Dingindoda tenants Simon Setsoalo addresses his clients outside court on Thursday 19 September 2019 after the matter was postponed to 10 October

Setsoalo said that since 2004 the Emalahleni Housing Company has been conducting business without being authorised by the eMalahleni municipality, “collecting rent unlawfully from the people and making more than R13 billion from the rent of all the houses all these years”.

He said that “that money was meant to be paid to the municipality so that the money could be used for the purpose of selling the houses to the people and developing more and more houses in the whole area”. 

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He said when the case sits again on 10 October Xaba will be expected to produce all payments that they ever made since 2004 to the eMalahleni municipality as owners of the land on which the homes were built. 

Also eMalahleni municipality will have to come before court and also give evidence whether indeed they ever received those payments.

“When we estimate this money it amounts to R13.8bn, so the case is postponed to 10 October for the Emalahleni Housing Company to come with that proof of payments and at this stage nobody will be evicted. It is still a long journey, a lot of skeletons will be revealed and we are calm because we know that a lot of people who took money from our people will be arrested”.

He added that they are now applying to the high court to force Xaba to stop “harassing the tenants” and to also bring back the electric power.

(edited by MLM) 

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