Widow paid for house in 2009 - and has still not moved in

A GAUTENG auctioneer and an attorney are accused of swindling a widow out of R276,400 under the pretext that they were selling her a house.

When Manthile Makinta's husband died in 2008 she decided to leave their home and go and live near her children in Gauteng.

Her children clubbed together and gave her the R300,000 she needed for a house. She lived with her daughter in Mabopane while looking for her dream house.

Makinta saw a board on the road advertising the auction of a house and decided to view it. She liked it. The house is at number 8857 phase 05 Morula View, Mabopane, Pretoria.

Makinta called Bahlaorewa Auctioneers, Estate Agents and Valuers to enquire about the process of auctioning.

Dikeledi, who answered the phone, told Makinta that the auction would be held at the end of January 2009 at 36 Pearce Street in Olifantsfontein.

"Dikeledi also said they were appointed by Malatsi Teffo Inc Attorneys, who were the executors of a late estate," Makinta said.

She attended the auction and paid a deposit of R11400 to Steven Sebola of Bahlaorewa auctioneers.

In April 2009 she enquired about the process and only then was she told that she had to pay the balance of R265,000, which she immediately did.

"Instead of transferring the money to the attorneys' account, Sebola kept it," Makinta said.

She said the auctioneers told her that the longest it could take to register the house would be six months.

"But we are going for the end of another year waiting for this transfer to be effected," Makinta said.

She later found out that the auctioneer only paid R25,000 into the attorneys. account.

"This was two months after Sebola had received the full purchase amount," Makinta said.

She and two of her children said they had made numerous calls asking Sebola to transfer their hard-earned money.

"At one stage he arrogantly told my mother that we can't force him to transfer the money," Makinta's son, Elias, said.

He said his mother went to the auctioneers but was fed lies and empty promises.

"There is no correspondence from the auctioneer and he is still sitting with the money," Elias said.

"I have found out that he is not registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board. Perhaps this is why he thinks we can't do anything to get our money back."

Sebola said they regret that Makinta has suffered due to the delay.

He said this was not a normal transaction, but a late estate, which required the documents and consultation of many people.

"The transfer is at an advanced stage and the transaction will be concluded before the end of this month. If not, we will give the client a refund before August 30 2010," Sebola said.

Makinta responded with outrage. She said the auctioneers have no business transferring the money into her account .

"They had to sell the property and transfer my money into the account of Malatsi-Teffo attorneys.

"Unless they are in cahoots with these attorneys," Makinta said.

"Where is the money that is due to Malatsi-Teffo and why have these attorneys not demanded it? Are they not supposed to place the money into a trust account and if they haven't, is this not fraud?"

Makinta said she was tired of their empty promises and wanted out.

"The promise to refund at the end of the month is monotonous. We've heard that a thousand times in the past 20 months," Makinta's son said.

"Where is the money? If they had it they would have transferred it to Malatsi-Teffo."

The Estate Agency Affairs Board said Bahlaorewa auctioneers and asset management, the principals of which are Thlophego Stephen Sebola and Khambane Abel Lebese, was last issued with a Fidelity Fund Certificate in 2007.

Sebola transferred R110,000 into the attorneys account after Consumer Line's intervention.

Sebola also instructed the attorneys to proceed with the transfer and has offered to pay the balance when the transfer is in the preparatory stage.

Portia Mofikoe, head of the Marketing and Communications Estate Agency Affairs Board of South Africa, said this estate agent had not renewed his membership and can therefore not practice as an estate agent.

She said they would investigate Makinta's complaint.

"I would advise the complainant to lodge a formal complaint with us so that we can conduct investigations and see how best we can assist her," Mofikoe said.

Makinta has now reported the alleged unprofessional conduct by Malatse-Teffo with the Law Society of Northern Province.

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