handcuffsNews24 reports that an employee at the eMalahleni municipality in Mpumalanga was granted R10,000 bail last week, after being charged with selling unallocated RDP houses to unsuspecting victims desperate for a home.

Vusumuzi Phakane, employed as a community coordinator by the municipality, allegedly colluded with two other locals, namely Justice Sambo and Caroline Koloane, in having defrauded victims of at least R300,000 since last year. According to the Hawks, Phakane and Sambo approached Koloane and recruited her to look for prospective customers. Koloane took to social media where she advertised government houses for sale. Unsuspecting victims would be directed by the syndicate to the municipality offices to complete the agreement of sale forms. When the victim occupied the newly purchased house, other victims would come and produce documents as proof of purchase of the same house. A case was opened and investigators found out that lawful beneficiaries of the houses were still alive, and waiting to be allocated their homes. Victims lost at least R300,000 in the scam. The three shared the money among themselves. They were arrested on Wednesday on charges of corruption, theft, forgery and money laundering. Phakane and Koloane were granted R10,000 bail each, while Sambo was held in custody as he has previous convictions.

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