An estate agent who allegedly sold people’s RDP houses fraudulently has been re-arrested after she was found hiding in a Boksburg house.
Annica Van Staden was allegedly found with all her luggage packed and police claim she was ready to flee to Cape Town when they nabbed her.
The Hawks had been looking for Van Staden, 46, after she was granted bail in August 2019 and failed to return to court in November 2020.
Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi of the Mpumalanga Hawks said allegations were that Van Staden registered a business called Housing First Property in Mpumalanga between October 2014 and July 2015.
She is said to have started selling RDP houses, repossessed houses as well as private property in the vicinity of Middelburg, Witbank, Secunda, and Kriel.
However, Sekgotodi said, it was later established that the houses she sold were not for sale.
“It is further alleged that the buyer had to pay the deposit on a house or the selling price into her business, Housing First Property’s trust account.
“She defrauded the buyers by not transferring the properties into their names and they had to pay for home loans on the properties they never acquired.”
“Van Staden allegedly transferred money to other agents she employed, although none of them, including herself, were registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board,” she said.
Van Staden was arrested in Protea Glen, Soweto in August 2019. She was charged with fraud, appeared in court, granted bail and given a return date. However, she skipped bail.
Sekgotodi said a further investigation linked Van Staden with other cases of fraud worth a total value of approximately R184 000.00.
“These cases are in Orange Farm, Nelspruit, Lydenburg and Piet Retief, where more than 36 potential witnesses laid complaints against her.
“The suspect will appear before the Middelburg Magistrate Court on Wednesday, April 28. More arrests are imminent,” Sekgotodi said.
The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Major General Zodwa Mokoena applauded the team for their quick response to arrest Van Staden before fleeing again.
Mokoena also said she appreciates the work done by the Communication Officer in the partnership with the media for publishing information to the public who responded positively leading to the arrest.