Estate Agency Affairs Board - allegations of maladministration.

A forensic report requested by the board found that Nomonde Mapetla, the dismissed chief executive of the EAAB, benefited herself during her tenure of office, allowing the board’s administration to go to pieces.

These allegations saw her contract being cut short on 28 February 2011. However she still received full payment to July 15, when it would have expired.

Shortly after her dismissal, the EAAB board members launched an investigation into the allegations with the help of Deloitte Risk Advisory.

The findings by Deloitte was released on August 19, these findings showed that Mapetla had violated the EAAB's rules and regulations and also that she demonstrated an absence of transparent leadership. Over the past week Sake24 has inspected this document, however this document is not yet in the public domain.

Industry players believe that the document should be released in due course as this would be in the public's interest. Deloitte's report also makes it very clear that Mapetla did not assist the investigation team during this time. However her refusal to assist the investigation was not the only obstacle that Deloitte had faced. There was the ongoing resistance from the EAAB staff to provide requested documents to the investigating team.

investigatory team was further hampered by a confusion over Mapetla's laptops. The computer handed over to the investigating team was not the one given to her and the they failed to gain access to the second laptop on which she worked until her departure from EAAB.

Deloitte confirmed that no documents or records of her academic and professional qualifications, such as set out in her 2004 contract of employment, could be found.

Mapetla was found to have been guilty of wasteful expenditure and not adhering to the EAAB's travel policy. According to the report, her domestic travelling expenditure of R116 385 and that for international travelling, R205 013, fell outside the guidelines of the board's travel policy.

She was also alleged to have misused a corporate First National Bank credit card in failing to obtain the necessary approval and failing to declare it to the board.She was allegedly not authorised to use EAAB funds to pay for her credit card expenditure. The report refers to "prima facie evidence of fraud" amounting to R88 963 through the use of a credit card.

Mapetla was initially appointed for three years, after which she was paid on a monthly basis for eight months until her contract was renewed for a further three years. Deloitte could find no record that her services had been approved on a monthly basis or that the renewal of her three-year contract had been sanctioned by the board.

The investigating team found that certain allegations against her were unfounded.No proof could be found of either an alleged payment of R400 000 to a staff member, or of a R10 000 payment to her husband. The allegation that she had deliberately inflated the annual statistics of the Fidelity fund certificates was also unfounded.

The report is being released based on the evidence made available and without her response to the allegations and the evidence collected, says the report.

For the past couple of years thousands of estate agents nationwide have had to work without their Fidelity Fund certificates, their "licences" to operate as estate agents in terms of the Agency Affairs Act.
The investigating team was unable to obtain reliable statistics of the number of Fidelity fund certificates issued by the EAAB between 2007 and 2011. But hundreds of certificates that had never been posted to agents were found in a storeroom at the EAAB's Hyde Park head office in Johannesburg.

Deloitte found that the EAAB's legal and compliance division, which was responsible for issuing the certificates, had had to manage without proper guidance from management.

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