Mohlala's hubby faces R16,250 claim
Consumer Commissioner accused of ignoring a complaint against her man because it was 'personal'
THE husband of national consumer commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, Lawrence Mulaudzi, is accused of defrauding a Pretoria man.
And the embattled consumer commissioner is reported to have ignored a complaint the alleged victim, Godfrey Mashaba, lodged with her office in March last year and January and April this year.
But, yesterday Mohlala-Mulaudzi said that her husband must take responsibility for the matter and deal with it.
"This matter happened before we met," she said.
She said Mashaba's matter was out of the commission's jurisdiction because it happened before the Consumer Protection Act was enacted last year.
"The act clearly states that the commission will deal with matters after its enactment. It is common practice that no act applies retrospectively."
Mashaba paid Mulaudzi R16,250 in 2008. This was after Mulaudzi had promised to build him a house - which never materialised.
Mulaudzi even took Mashaba to the houses he had built to show his workmanship.
This persuaded Mashaba to enter into an agreement with him, but he did not sign his contract because there were terms in the deal which he did not agree with.
While rectifying the contract, Mulaudzi asked him to pay the money he apparently needed to register his house for construction as required by the National Home Builder Registration Council (NHBRC).
"He insisted that I must write the cheque in his name which I did, and that was the last time I heard from him," Mashaba said.
Mashaba has since registered his house with the council on his own and got another builder who started building the house last year.
Mashaba wrote his first letter of complaint to the national commissioner in March last year, but was apparently turned down on the grounds that his complaint was not covered in terms of the Consumer Protection Act.
In January he wrote another complaint to the commissioner but never got any response.
Last month, upon learning that Mulaudzi was married to the commissioner, he wrote another letter of complaint, asking Mohlala-Mulaudzi to persuade her husband to refund the money he had taken under the false pretence that he was going to build him a house.
But Mohlala-Mulaudzi's secretary responded by telling him to refrain from sending correspondence of a personal nature to her e-mail address.
The e-mail from the commissioner's office reads: "Kindly note that this e-mail address is for business related communication i.e. issues related to the National Consumer Commission.
"Please refrain from sending correspondence of a personal nature to this e-mail address as they will not be attended to."
Mashaba said although he had explained to the secretary that his complaint was consumer-related he did not get the satisfaction he expected from the commissioner.
Mashaba said he had previously reported the matter to the small claims court, but his claim was rejected on the grounds that it exceeded its jurisdiction.
Mulaudzi has denied pocketing Mashaba's money under false pretences.
He said he paid the R16,250 to the NHBRC and a certificate of registration was issued.
Mulaudzi said he could not begin building the house because Mashaba did not have an approved house plan or bond approval.