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Agency boss loses High Court case

14 Mar 2011

Dismissed Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) chief executive Nomonde Mapetla has lost her High Court challenge to be reinstated. Judge Lotter Wepener ruled that a “matter of this nature and complexity should not be brought urgently” and declined to grant her urgent access to the court.

Judge Wepener said that he was not ruling on the validity of her case but rather on the urgency aspect of her application. Mapetla also lost her bid to have the EAAB prohibited from acting as a board.

She had taken the EAAB, the Department of Trade and Industry and the individual board members to court after she was axed last month.

She applied to the South Gauteng High Court for an urgent interdict to prohibit the EAAB from acting as a board and to be reinstated as the Board’s chief executive claiming that both her suspension and termination were unlawful.

However, Judge Wepener ruled against her saying that Mapetla had “not provided sufficient facts to sustain her attack” on the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, who is responsible for appointing the EAAB board.

Last week Mapetla’s advocate, Dali Mpofu SC argued the EAAB’s board was unlawfully constituted as it only had 11 members although the Estate Agency Affairs Act required that the Minister of Trade and Industry should appoint 15.

Judge Wepener said that he had not been given enough information to establish this and that it was unclear at what point there were only 11 members or whether there ever had been 15 members.

Judge Wepener also refused to grant another urgent application by Mapetla that was aimed at preventing members of the board from discussing her case with the media and ordered that Mapetla pay the costs of two counsels as well.

The EAAB is responsible for regulating South Africa estimated 27 000 estate agents practicing in the country today.

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Paddy Hartdegen

Paddy Hartdegen

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