Sexwale acts on graft
HUMAN Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has appointed attorney Taswell Papier as the administrator of the embattled Estate Agency Affairs Board.
Sexwale said Papier had been brought in to help to turn around the body that regulates the estate industry, which has been plagued by bad publicity amid claims of dubious business dealings and questionable financial transactions.
Sexwale, who dissolved the EAAB last week, said yesterday that Papier would be tasked with instilling good governance and implementing proper financial controls and systems, among other things.
Papier is also charged with restoring the tarnished image and reputation of the real estateindustry.
"The administrator is effectively replacing the board," Sexwale said.
He said Papier's appointment as well as the dissolution of the board had become necessary amid allegations that fraud and corruption were rife in the industry.
"With entities we keep a distance, we operate at arms length but when things go wrong you cannot remain at arms length."
Sexwale said Papier would take over the running the EAAB with immediate effect.
Papier is the former president of the Cape Law Society and has also acted as a judge in the Western Cape High Court.
He has also served on the board of control of the Attorney's Fidelity Fund and was put in charge of the Communal Property Association during the Richtersveld land claims dispute.
"He is innovative, goal- and performance-driven. He has a proven track record on corporate governance issues," Sexwale said.
The EAAB has been mired in controversy following allegations of irregularities involving property magnet Wendy Machanik and industry leader Auction Alliance.
Other incidents which led to Sexwale's intervention included the "acrimonious parting of ways" with the former agency chief executive officer Nomonde Mapetla, the suspension of the agency's company secretary, and the recent resignation of board chairman Ina Wilken.
"There's a stench here, how deep it goes that's why the administrator is here. What I heard from some members of the industry, they said there are many suspicious things."
These included more allegations that the agency's fidelity fund had been looted for financial gain.