Fired estate agent to meet ex-employer for settlement

Isaac Moledi

Isaac Moledi

Estate agent Thandi Nkosi, who was dismissed by her empowerment company Siweziwe Property Holdings for dishonesty last month, will meet with her former employer today to negotiate a settlement.

Siweziwe managing director Ricky Eksteen confirmed that Nkosi had previously been invited to attend a meeting at their offices to discuss a "fair and equitable" reimbursement of her equity in the company, but had failed to accept an invite in the past.

At the time of her dismissal, Nkosi, together with four other black shareholders and directors, each owned 12percent of Siweziwe. The other black shareholders are Mandla Gumede, who manages a Siweziwe franchise at Discovery, Roodepoort; manager of Johannesburg South franchise George Sango; Roodepoort franchise manager Tawanda Sibanda and Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, franchise manager Nkululeko Ngcoya.

The remaining 40percent is owned by property developer RBA Developments. Eksteen is a director of this company.

The empowerment outfit is a franchise from property giant Pam Golding Properties (PGP).

Nkosi said she was prepared to claim what she had worked for.

"I have worked very hard for that company," she said.

Before Nkosi's dismissal, Siweziwe, through its Johannesburg south operation, was appointed exclusive marketers of 500 freehold, full-title residential stands at the 1200hectare Cosmo City development northwest of Johannesburg. Each is worth about R335000.

The R2billion project is coordinated by the Gauteng provincial government and the City of Johannesburg. Siweziwe has access to more than 25 project areas across Gauteng.

It was said to be ideally positioned to take advantage of RBA's pre-eminent position by delivering about 80 to 100 houses a month and PGP's full spectrum of services in the property market.

Nkosi was also slapped with a restraint of trade notice for a period of one year, according to a July 24 letter from RBA and Siweziwe's attorneys, Werksmans. This means that she is prohibited, for one year, from participating in any business which competes with Siweziwe in any way.

Eksteen denied Nkosi was dismissed because of corporate governance issues within Siweziwe. He stressed that, "Thandi has been dismissed for, amongst other concerns, dishonesty".

Nkosi has questioned the integrity of RBA attorneys, Werksmans, which wrote in an e-mail that her employment was "terminated pursuant to a ruling handed down by the CCMA on 16 July 2007".

The CCMA has denied any knowledge of such a ruling on the day in question when Sowetan inquired about the matter.