Paid, but does not own house

BOOTED OUT: Regina Mashego outside the house she is about to lose though. She claims to have paid the full price nine years ago.
BOOTED OUT: Regina Mashego outside the house she is about to lose though. She claims to have paid the full price nine years ago.

ANOTHER Gauteng attorney is accused of defrauding a widow.

Regina Mashego says Donavan Van Zyl has delayed transferring a property which she had bought and paid for in full in 2004.

Mashego contacted Consumer Line after reading Gladys Mazibuko's story on February 11, "Law firm accused of delaying deal".

In the article, Mazibuko accused her transferring attorney, Driekie Fraser of Mostert Attorneys, of delaying the registration of her property because she believes that the lawyer wanted to benefit from the interest on her R250000 deposit.

Mashego says that when her husband died in 2004, she decided to buy a house as an investment.

The 60-year-old former teacher says she found a house that the owner, Johannes Davel, was selling because he could no longer afford to pay his bond.

She bought the house for R365000, including transfer fees and paid the money in five monthly instalments into Van Zyl's trust account.

Almost nine years later, the house has still not been transferred into her name - and Standard Bank has now sold it to a third party.

Mashego says she used her life savings and her late husband's payout from his life insurance to pay for the house.

She says she became anxious in May 2011 when she received a letter addressed to Davel from Standard Bank. "The bank wanted him to go to their offices to discuss his bond repayment because he was in arrears," Mashego says.

She says she located Davel and he took her to Van Zyl. Mashego says she did not know who the transferring attorney was until Davel told her.

She gave Davel cash and he deposited the money into Van Zyl's trust account.

"He gave me proof only two years ago, to show Van Zyl was handling the matter," she says.

When contacted for comment, Van Zyl told Consumer Line that he had inherited the file from an attorney who had since died.

During our discussions Van Zyl gave an impression that he is still an attorney, but the Law Society of Northern Province says he was struck off the roll on November 18 2011.

He promised to give us a full response, but by noon on Friday when we were on deadline, he had not yet done so.

Mashego says Van Zyl told her that due to backlogs and long queues at the deeds office, it was impossible for him to transfer the house to her name. "He told me that he is waiting for his partners to sign the title deed before he can send it to the deeds office," Mashego says.

Despite Van Zyl's assurance that everything was in order, the house was auctioned in November last year.

Proof that Mashego had paid for the house could not prevent Standard Bank from auctioning the property because the bank said it did not receive the money, Mashego says.

She says she is now suffering from a heart condition and lives with her disabled daughter. They have no alternative accommodation should the new owner evict them from the house, she says.

Mashego says the new owner is willing to rent the house out to her for R4000 a month while she sorts out her problem with Van Zyl.

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