Lawyer to reform property board
CAPE TOWN — Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has appointed internationally respected Cape lawyer Taswell Papier as the administrator charged with rescuing the shambolic Estate Agency Affairs Board, which was dissolved on July 1.
Central to the administrator’s work will be to get the board up and running again and particularly to sort out mismanagement at the board’s fidelity fund. The fund is designed as insurance against theft or negligence by agents and attorneys in the multi-billion-rand property industry.
The work of the administrator will run in parallel to an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit, which is also probing the board and its fidelity fund.
The dissolution of the board comes in the wake of what Mr Sexwale called a "rotten cake with a bad stench" and "disturbing events" which include the "Wendy Machanik saga, the acrimonious departure of former CEO Nomonde Mapetla, the Auction Alliance debacle, the suspension of the company secretary, and the resignation of the chairperson, Ina Wilken".
Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Mr Sexwale said: "As a shareholder on behalf of government, I am compelled to have a strong interest in the financial performance of all institutions reporting to me. There must be reporting and accountability arrangements facilitating appropriate oversight, and, most importantly, (the implementation of) appropriate remedial action where an institution’s strategic direction deviates from that preferred by the shareholder."
Mr Papier is a former president of the Law Society in the Cape of Good Hope.
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