A HOUSE BUT NO HOME

NO REFUGE: The house in Chiawelo that is in dispute between the owner and Nelly Mbokota. Pic. Mabuti Kali. 23/04/07.  Sunday World.
NO REFUGE: The house in Chiawelo that is in dispute between the owner and Nelly Mbokota. Pic. Mabuti Kali. 23/04/07. Sunday World.

Nelly Mbokota thought she had clinched a great deal when she bought a house from a retired man in July last year.

Nelly Mbokota thought she had clinched a great deal when she bought a house from a retired man in July last year.

The seller, Famenda Shihindla, 80, wanted to trade the loud and crowded Soweto life for a quiet, mountainous one in Venda, so he sold his house.

Mbokota paid R43000 for the four-roomed house but has been unable to take occupation or get her money back, she said.

Her problem started when the conveyancers, attorneys GA Maluleke, paid the seller without transferring the property into her name.

When she wanted to take occupation three months after the sale, the conveyancer told her there were problems and Mbokota could not occupy the house.

She demanded her money back and Maluleke said he could not refund her because he had already paid Shihindla.

Consumer Line spoke to Maluleke, who acknowledged that it was grossly negligent of him to have paid the seller before the property was transferred to Mbokota.

He said Shihindla had asked him for payment to settle his medical bills. He said that was the reason he sold the house in the first place.

It was only in November that he became aware that there was a conflict between Shihindla and the buyer.

Maluleke said he did not wash his hands of the matter, but says he cannot pursue Shihindla to refund the money he wrongfully paid him since he is no longer his attorney.

"We are human beings, we err. Sometimes, we take decisions in good faith and they turn out not to be for the best," he said.

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