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Fraudster pastor pleads for no jail time

A pastor found guilty of illegally selling state land in Lenasia has begged a court for mercy.

A pastor found guilty of illegally selling state land in Lenasia yesterday begged a court for mercy. Picture: iWitness

JOHANNESBURG - A pastor found guilty of illegally selling government land in Lenasia and Ennerdale on Monday pleaded with a Johannesburg court not to send him to prison.

Mandla Dlamini defrauded two men by taking large amounts of money from them as deposits to build them houses on the land.

The Johannesburg Magistrate's Court yesterday postponed sentencing procedures to Tuesday next week.

In a statement read out by a Correctional Services officer, pastor Dlamini promised to pay back every cent he owes his victims if he is not sent to prison.

The 75-year-old was arrested in June 2012, after he demanded amounts of between R12, 000 and R36, 000 from two people, promising to build them houses on land in the south of Johannesburg area.

Violence broke out in Lenasia last year, when the Gauteng Housing Department demolished more than 50 structures built on illegal land sold by an alleged syndicate.

Government had planned to build low-cost houses on the land.