Wendy Machanik suffers another blow

2011-01-22 07:32

Embattled estate agent Wendy Machanik’s bid to secure a Fidelity Fund Certificate in her personal capacity to continue trading as an estate agent has been struck a blow in the South Gauteng High Court.

Judge Jody Kollapen dismissed Machanik’s counterapplication that the Estate Agency Affairs Board grant her a Fidelity Fund Certificate to trade as an estate agent as she was not obliged to submit audited reports in her personal capacity.

Wendy Machanik and Wendy Machanik Properties (WMP) were interdicted and prohibited from practising as estate agents, Kollapen ordered.

He said Machanik as the sole member of WMP was disqualified because her close corporation (CC) had failed to submit audited reports as required by the Estate Agency Act of 1976.

“The authority of a member is derived from the authority of the CC, the disqualification that attaches to a CC is a disqualification that follows members and attaches to them as well.”

Kollapen said Machanik and her company, WMP, were prohibited from working as estate agents as long as they had not been issued with Fidelity Fund certificates.

“Further, they are prohibited from operating as estate agents under the name Winter Arcon Pty (Ltd) trading as Wendy Machanik Properties.”

Machanik had tried to alter the corporate structure of her business from WMP to Winter Arcon Pty (Ltd) trading as Wendy Machanik Properties.

Machanik’s lawyer, Terence Ossin, had argued that the refusal by the Estate Agency Affairs Board infringed her client’s constitutional rights to carry on with business, and said she should be granted the certificate in her personal capacity as it was her company, WMP, that had not submitted the audited reports and not Machanik.

Machanik has been accused of having used the funds in her trust account to finance her close corporation.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board applied for an order prohibiting Machanik from operating as an estate agent, but she filed a counterapplication seeking the Estate Agency Affairs Board to issue her with a Fidelity Fund Certificate because her company, WMP, had failed to submit audited reports.

Kollapen granted a punitive cost order against Machanik and WMP to demonstrate the court’s displeasure with Machanik and WMP’s conduct, and remarked that there was no substance to their challenge.

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