EFF takes aim at white-owned BCM property moguls

EFF takes aim at white-owned BCM property moguls
EFF takes aim at white-owned BCM property moguls
Image: FILE

The EFF in the Eastern Cape has set its sights on buildings of some of the province’s powerful property moguls.

Among the properties they have identified as targets include buildings owned by property magnates Gary Rieger, Tony Cotterell, Jean du Plessis and Mike Wylie.

The EFF has drawn up a list of potential targets in affluent areas in East London and Komani as they embark on planned invasions of unoccupied buildings and RDP houses.

Cotterell on Tuesday said he was unaware of the EFF’s plans, and would comment no further.

This comes just weeks after the Daily Dispatch reported on how the EFF was embroiled in a bitter fight over a public works building they had illegally occupied in Southernwood.

The public works department has been trying to have the EFF legally removed from the building for more than a year. The case was postponed to February 2020 in the high court sitting in East London on November 14.

Last week in Komani, the EFF illegally demarcated business sites on private property in the CBD.

EFF provincial chair Yazini Tetyana said they had specifically targeted Du Plessis’ East London properties as he had “several 99-year leases” with the state, some of which, Tetyana claimed, he only paid R2,000  a month for.

Brett Shaw — who has acted as director and CFO of Du Plessis’ SKG — did not respond to questions and did not return calls.

Wylie could also not be reached.

Rieger’s receptionist received a media query on his behalf, but no-one had responded by print deadline on Tuesday.

Tetyana claimed Du Plessis earned “R100m from his leases” with provincial government.

However, the Dispatch has seen a 2018 report from the premier’s office that pegged rentals at just over R20m a month for some buildings housing government departments.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane’s spokesperson, Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, referred questions to public works spokesperson Vuyokazi Mbanjwa, who had not responded by deadline.

DA MPL Nqaba Bhanga called on law enforcement to clamp down on the EFF and its plan “before it gets out of hand”.

He slammed the high rental costs, which amounted to R243m a year.

Tetyana said they had in recent months occupied several buildings and plots across the province.

“Our primary goal now is to move into town and the [East London] beachfront.

“We want to deal with the question of who owns what in the province, particularly white-owned properties in  Buffalo City Metro,” he said.

Tetyana said BCM was laden with buildings with 99-year leases similar to deals signed by white farmers in Stellenbosch, where some farms leased land for as little as R345 annually for a 35ha farm.

“Also we are talking about development on the beachfront — 90% of properties there are white-owned.

“Young, black businessmen pay more than R90,000 a month in East London.

“Rieger, on the other hand, owns almost the whole of Gonubie [an estimated 52ha].”