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Monday Nov 18, 2013

Gran duped in Lenasia property scam

When Emily Mokoma and her children moved into a three bedroom home in Lenasia South five years ago, it was the beginning of a new era - she had finally found a house she could call her own.

Emily Mokoma (77) has filed a complaint with the Law Society against a lawyer she says did not handle transfer of her house properly.

The 77-year-old had earlier met the 'desperate owner' of the house, Emanuel Moropana, in Matroosberg Street, Lenasia south extension 4, whose bond was in arrears and his house about to be repossessed.

They both agreed that Mokoma would make payments due to the bondholder - Nedbank, while they waited for the transfer to go through.

According to Mokoma, however, the file she opened with conveyance attorneys JN Bhana and Associates has since gone missing leaving her vulnerable to eviction because the bank had now sold the house to a new owner.

'I approached conveyance attorney JN Bhana to prepare the transfer of the house and documents under my name,' she said. 'This never happened until today despite having paid R50 000 cash to Moropana and legal fees to Bhana for the transfer. I further continued to make payments to Nedbank on Moropana's behalf until recently.'

Mokoma estimated that to date she had paid more than R168 000 on behalf of Moropana but was shocked when she received an eviction notice from the bank, notifying her of the sale.

In 2007, Mokoma, who sells bottles for recycling, bought a stand in Lenasia extension 3, but her dream came crashing down when officials demolished her half-built house because the stand had been sold to her illegally.

She blames the government. She claims while she could not afford a loan from a bank because she does not have regular income, she was not allocated a house even though she applied for one 15 years ago.

'I have been to the office of the MEC for local government but to no avail,' she said.

Though she has no legal grounds to occupy the house in which she is now living and as been unable to get Moropana to refund her money, she remains defiant. She hopes the paper trail she has of all the receipts showing the payments made will help her with her claim. She has since filed a complaint of misconduct with the Law Society against Bhana.

But in his response to the law society, Bhana said the documents had been prepared for Mokoma to sign but that she never showed up.

He said that when Mokoma called his office requesting the sale agreement, they were told by the bank that the file had been destroyed.

When contacted this week, Bhana refused to comment: 'The matter is being handled by the law society and it's best I don't say much until they have fully considered the issue.'

Deeds records show that the house has since been bought for R212 000 by a new owner in an auction.

Saturday Star


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