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27 January 2011 Curator appointed to control and administer the trust accounts of Wendy Machanik Property Holdings CC

Immediate release 27 January 2011 Curator appoinmted to control and administer the trust accounts of  Wendy Machanik Property Holdings CC

During mid-2010, the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), the statutory regulator of the estate agency profession in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 112 of 1976 (the Act), received a disclosure, through its whistle blowing hot line, relating to certain alleged irregularities concerning the business affairs of Wendy Machanik Property Holdings (WMP) as well as numerous instances of non-compliance with the provisions of the Act.

After duly instituting a forensic investigation to investigate these allegations it became apparent that there had, indeed, been a systemic misuse of trust moneys over an extended time period. The EAAB, represented by attorneys Knowles Husain Lindsay, was consequently obliged, on 30 December 2010, to launch an urgent application out of the High Court (South Gauteng Division) against both WMP and Wendy Machanik personally in terms of the relevant provisions of the Act to prevent WMP from operating on its trust accounts and to appoint a curator to control and administer such trust accounts. The proceedings were instituted primarily to protect the interests of both consumers and the Estate Agents Fidelity Fund, which safeguards consumers against the misappropriation of trust moneys by estate agents.

Despite the application being opposed a provisional order was duly granted by the Court and a suitable curator appointed to control and administer the relevant trust accounts. The matter will again be heard by the Court on 5 April 2011. This, it is believed, will grant the curator sufficient time properly to investigate the trust accounts and to report back thereon to the Court.

The EAAB wishes to emphasise its zero-tolerance approach to any instances of statutory non-compliance by estate agency enterprises and estate agents. The EAAB will not hesitate to take all such measures as may be required effectively to regulate the estate agency profession in the interests of consumers. Consumers are, furthermore, reminded that the telephone number of the whistle blowing hotline is 0800 223 225.

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