Bogus estate agent who pocketed R100,000 jailed

The victim purchased the home for R100,000. File Picture

The victim purchased the home for R100,000. File Picture

Published Jul 4, 2023


A Free State man posing as a real estate agent has been sentenced in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Sabata Israel Papane, 60, was convicted on charges of fraud, contravention of Section 26 of the Estate Agency Affairs Act and contravention of Section 4 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, and money laundering.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (better known as the Hawks) provincial spokesperson, Captain Christopher Singo said Papane’s conviction stems from a crime which took place in 2014.

He said on June 19, 2017, the victim saw an advertisement in the local newspaper about a house for sale.

“The victim then contacted the number on the advertisement which was that of Papane. She then met with Papane who acted as an estate agent and accepted an offer to purchase the house and also signed the contract with the victim,” Singo said.

“The victim paid an amount of R100,000 to Papane for the purchase of the house,” he said.

However, when the victim wanted to occupy the house she had purchased, she found out that Papane was neither the owner of the house she had “bought”, nor was he a designated estate agent.

She requested a refund of the payment she made to Papane who failed to pay her back.

“The matter was then reported to the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team based in Bloemfontein for further investigation which culminated in a summons being served on Papane on August 10, 2021,” Singo said.

The court subsequently sentenced Papane to 23 years direct imprisonment.

Head of the Hawks in the Free State, Major General Mokgadi Bokaba applauded the investigating team for ensuring a hefty sentence was secured.