Cape Town housing ‘mediator’ interdicted from accessing buildings, making threats
The City of Cape Town has obtained a high court order against a housing organisation leader who allegedly threatened its staff. This is the latest development in the City's saga involving suspicions of gang infiltration and officials being targeted.
The final order was spotted at the weekend displayed on the entrance to a municipal building in the Cape Town suburb of Pinelands, as well as in the city centre.
According to its contents, a laminated copy must be posted at the entrances to all the City’s municipal buildings for a month, meaning it is meant to be displayed as such until around 23 February.
Intimidation, harassment, assault
The order (see below) is against Riaan Koeberg and Group 4 Developers (G4D), described on its Facebook page as “a non-political community housing organisation,” as well as members and associates of that group.
Koeberg styles himself as taking a stand for residents living in historically poorer Cape Town suburbs in need of housing and improved related services.
He previously warned the City’s human settlements staff, in a video posted on social media last year, that if they entered the Cape Town suburb of Mitchells Plain, there was no guarantee they would leave alive.
The order, granted in the Western Cape High Court and dated 23 January, says Koeberg and G4D “are interdicted and restrained from” entering a municipal building without authorisation.
They also may not obstruct the entrances and exits of any municipal building or unlawfully demonstrate — as in protest — within 200 metres of those.
The order banned Koeberg and G4D from “intimidating, threatening, harassing or assaulting” any City of Cape Town officials or members of the public using municipal buildings.
They may not incite violence.
‘Something to hide’
On Monday, 12 February 2024, Koeberg confirmed to Daily Maverick that the City had obtained a court order preventing him “from having any illegal marches and entering any government building without appointment.”
But he said it would not affect all of G4D’s activities.
“G4D will continue with fighting for the people,” Koeberg said.
“This is no setback. When people act like that, they always have something to hide.”
Koeberg also said a big march was being planned for next month.
He and G4D have previously been reported on several times in connection with housing issues in Cape Town.
In a video uploaded to the People’s Post Instagram account more than three months ago, Koeberg spoke about interdicts against G4D, which he referred to as G4, saying he was accused of threatening ward councillors and government staff, but that it had never happened.
The People’s Post also reported in November that the City obtained an interdict involving land grabbers and a sports field in Mitchells Plain which G4D had targeted
At the time, Koeberg had said that action was to try and tackle the “housing crisis.”
Other issues linked to Koeberg publicly surfaced in November.
The Sunday Times had reported that Koeberg said that he acted as mediator for alleged 28s boss Ralph Stanfield in terms of several housing developments.
“Koeberg described Stanfield as a legitimate businessman and said he had previously communicated to Hill-Lewis that the city should consider giving subcontracts to his companies,” it reported.
“He said he then approached Stanfield in the ‘interests of the community’ so that housing projects — some of which were halted owing to shootings at construction sites aimed at intimidating contractors — could be completed by Stanfield’s companies.”
On Monday evening, 12 February, Koeberg denied all that to Daily Maverick, saying linking him to any gang put his life in danger.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Times had also reported that a year ago, in February 2023, an incident allegedly happened that became the subject of a police investigation.
The article stated: “Stanfield’s sidekicks allegedly unlawfully entered the mayoral office complex in broad daylight, demanding of human settlements department official Xolani Joja that all municipal construction projects be handed over to Glomix”.
Read more in Daily Maverick: About time — Cape Town’s business blacklisting highlights history of gang suspicions amid reputational risk
Daily Maverick previously reported that Stanfield’s wife Nicole Johnson was the director of the company, Glomix House Brokers, which was contracted to build houses for the City.
However, late last year, it emerged the City had blacklisted seven companies linked to Johnson.
Read more in Daily Maverick: ‘I want to empty a gun in his head’ – chilling affidavit about alleged 28s gang boss Ralph Stanfield’s ‘plans’
That happened after Stanfield and Johnson were arrested in September last year in connection with other alleged crimes (not linked to City housing) including car theft, and in Stanfield’s case, attempted murder.
Meanwhile, according to the Sunday Times article from November last year, following the incident that allegedly happened at Joja’s office in February, Koeberg had later confronted Joja during a protest in Mitchells Plain.
‘Don’t mess with us’
A video of this incident, dated July last year, was posted on G4D’s Facebook page and TikTok account.
In it, Koeberg asks Joja if he looks familiar and says: “I was the one barging into your office unannounced without any appointment”.
Koeberg then turns to the device filming him and addresses Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
He says: “I want to tell the Mayor today, don’t mess with us… If I ever see you ever stepping foot into Mitchells Plain as the mayor, you will see what will happen to you.”
At another point in the video, Koeberg effectively says politicians are taking residents for fools and warns the City’s human settlements staff that “if they ever set foot in Mitchells Plain there is not a guarantee that they will go out here alive”.
Koeberg also explains he was the one who barged into Joja’s office and that he had warned him about (now former) City official Malusi Booi.
Raid and a resignation
In March last year, Booi was fired as mayoral committee member for human settlements after his City of Cape Town office was raided during a fraud and corruption investigation.
Daily Maverick can reveal that on the search warrant for that raid, flagged issues include the words “Group 4” and “Group Four,” which could be reference to G4D.
Read more in Daily Maverick: SAPS investigating allegations Cape Town mayco member Malusi Booi ‘took cash from gangsters’
Stanfield’s name also surfaced in that investigation, which dealt with whether Booi had accepted cash from underworld figures in exchange for information about housing tenders.
Booi was not criminally charged and at the end of October last year, he resigned as a councillor, saying he wanted to get on with his life and clear his name.
There are other serious issues linked to this overall scandal.
Murder and investigation
In February last year, the same month that figures barged into Joja’s office, City official Wendy Kloppers was murdered in the suburb of Delft at the Symphony Way Housing Project building site.
At the end of last year, in an interview with IOL, City Manager Lungelo Mbandazayo had said Kloppers was killed after the City refused to give in to the demands of gangsters demanding work from contractors at a housing project.
Following her murder an investigation was launched into construction-related tenders.
Read more in Daily Maverick: SAPS, City of CT scandals ‘linked’ to Ralph Stanfield investigations grow
In the IOL article, Mbandazayo was quoted as saying: “The investigation also saw some of the officials from the Human Settlements Department being suspended and others are attending disciplinary hearings.
“They were even tailor-making tenders before they went out so those same companies could easily apply and be granted those tenders.”
Last month Daily Maverick reported that the City, without going into detail, confirmed its public housing director, Siphokazi September, had been dismissed.
Two other staff members had also been suspended for serious misconduct. DM
This article has been updated to reflect additional comments received from Riaan Koeberg.