01 April 2011 Allegation by former CEO

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
01 APRIL 2011

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (“the EAAB”) has noted with grave concern the statements in today’s media by its dismissed Chief Executive Officer, Ms Nomonde Mapetla, that disciplinary action was taken against her by the EAAB on the instructions of the Honourable Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Rob Davies.

Mapetla was suspended, pending an investigation, from the EAAB on 17 February 2011 as a result of suspected mismanagement of her office by the EAAB. She was later dismissed by the EAAB due to an irreconcilable breakdown of trust between the parties. Pursuant to her dismissal the axed CEO approached the South Gauteng High Court on an urgent basis seeking relief against the EAAB, its members and the Minister of Trade and Industry, which relief included her reinstatement as the CEO of the EAAB. Pursuant to hearing argument Judge Lotter Wepener dismissed Mapetla’s urgent application with costs. Since then Mapetla has lodged a complaint at the Centre for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration against the EAAB, which matter remains pending. The non-urgent relief sought by Mapetla in her High Court application also remains pending before the High Court.

EAAB chairman, Mr Thami Bolani, said “we feel constrained to discuss the matter in the media given that it is clearly sub-judicae”. “This is a labour law matter and it will be dealt with in the appropriate forum in due course. Ms Mapetla’s conduct and most recent accusations are accordingly entirely inappropriate” he added. Mapetla previously contended in her High Court papers that she had been suspended and then dismissed by the EAAB because she was taking action against “big fish” estate agencies in South Africa, including Wendy Machanik Property Holdings CC and Ms Wendy Machanik. Mapetla went on to allege that she was being victimized by the EAAB because of this so called industry clean up. To this Bolani stated “this could not be further from the truth. One need only look at the answering affidavit of the EAAB to Mapetla’s urgent application to see the real reasons why she was suspended and then later dismissed. Judge Wepener in delivering his judgment specifically referred to those reasons, which he pointed out went largely unanswered by Ms Mapetla in her replying affidavit. “Mapetla’s new accusation, that she was fired on the instructions of the Minister, is yet another unsubstantiated allegation and desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the real reason for her suspension and dismissal” said Bolani. “The individual board members and the EAAB are taking advice from our attorney regarding these defamatory statements and will take appropriate action against Mapetla in due course, if necessary”.

Mapetla also recently wrote to the ANC, seeking its assistance, claiming to be a long standing member of the ANC and seeking its intervention to stop the on-going investigation by the EAAB into her conduct as CEO. “This is just another brazen attempt by Mapetla to fight her battles in the media and with a total disregard for due legal process.” Interestingly, it has been contended that Mapetla used her office as CEO of the EAAB prior to the last general election to print campaign material for COPE. “If true this is just another example of how Mapetla abused her position at the EAAB” said Bolani. “Our investigations will continue without fear or favour and will not try and fight this in the media” said Bolani.

End//

For all media enquiries:
Marketing and Communications Dept
Estate Agency Affairs Board
Tel: 011 731 5600 or margie@eaab.org.za



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