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EAAB TO PROBE PAM GOLDING PROPERTIES FOR ALLEGED FINANCIAL CONTRAVENTIONS

Media Release

01 March 2020

EAAB TO PROBE PAM GOLDING PROPERTIES FOR ALLEGED FINANCIAL CONTRAVENTIONS

JOHANNESBURG - The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) is launching a full-scale investigation into allegations that one of South Africa’s top estate agencies contravened financial regulatory laws when facilitating the sale of property to politically exposed people.

Pam Golding Properties will be the subject of a multi-pronged investigation following reports that it allegedly facilitated the sale of properties to the children of former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza without following legal requirements and thus allegedly aided money laundering.  The two properties in Dainfern and Kyalami Estate, north of Johannesburg, are said to be worth a combined R50-million.

In a first-of-its -kind investigation, the EAAB has requested a joint probe with the Financial Intelligence Centre into the allegations carried in a February 21, 2020 article in Mail and Guardian newspaper.

It is alleged that former political leaders and their families were laundering money by investing large sums of illegal monies in properties in South Africa, resulting in the artificial inflation of property prices and skewed market values.

EAAB CEO Mamodupi Mohlala said the allegations are of a serious nature and that senior officials from the regulator would be leading the probe.

“Enforcement and compliance are at the core of our mandate as a regulatorPam. We therefore have to ensure that there is full compliance no matter how big or small a licensee. We demand full compliance in the interests of consumer and public protection,” Mohlala said. 

The EAAB, as the supervisory board of the property industry, will meet with the FIC in the coming days to finalize the scope of the investigation which will look into whether Pam Golding Properties transgressed sections of the FIC Act. These include:

  • Section 21B which requires determining the identity of a client;
  • Section 27A  -  Money Laundering and Terrorist Financial Control Regulations;
  • Section 28 – cash threshold;
  • Section 29 – suspicious and unusual transaction;
  • Section 31 – Cross-Border Electronic Transfer and
  • Section 42A which requires a company and its employees  to ensure compliance with a Risk Management and Compliance Programme (RMCP).

Mohlala said the investigation would involve officials doing on-site inspections at Pam Golding Properties’ premises and requesting access to documents. Any adverse findings will result in the agency being hauled before an EAAB  disciplinary hearing. The final findings would determine a possible sanction which could include a substantial fine.

“We will expedite the investigation and request co-operation from all parties involved. The allegations against Pam Golding’s conduct are most concerning.  We are aware that the property sector, more especially the real estate sector, is a source of wealth creation. We however say create wealth legally and according to rules and policies.  We therefore intend on using legislative tools to ensure compliance by all players including Pam Golding which is one of the biggest players in our space. No one is above the law."

For more information contact
Chandré Prince
Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist
Chandre.Prince@eaab.org.za
083 316 3028
 

About the EAAB

The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) was established in 1976 in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 (‘the Act”), with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of estate agents in the public interest. The EAAB regulates the estate agency profession through ensuring that all persons carrying out the activities of an estate agent as a service to the public are registered with the EAAB. A Fidelity Fund Certificate, which is to be renewed each year is issued as evidence of such registration and confirmation that such person is legally entitled to carry out the activities of an estate agent. The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), which has been reporting to the Minister of Trade and industry since 1976, was transferred to the Department of Human Settlements on 17 May 2012 by Proclamation of the President of the Republic of South Africa.    
 

About the Property Practitioners Act

In October 2019, The Property Practitioners Act of 2019 was signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Act repeals the Estate Agency Affairs Act and is aimed at improving the functioning of the property market, ensuring professional standards which includes regulating the buying, selling and renting of land and buildings and puts in place comprehensive monitoring mechanisms.

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