Sabelo Skiti reports that the Special Investigating Unit is delving into dozens of allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct against officials at the Master of the High Court.
The scale of the investigations is huge and saw 15 Master of the High Court offices in the nine provinces shut down — the first time in the history of that office — to allow the SIU to copy court files and mirror hard drives.
It is alleged that thousands of case files or dockets go missing or are stolen and the poor and desperate are either fleeced out of their inheritances or made to pay hundreds of Rands for assistance in deceased estates.
The complaints about these offices include maladministration, allegations of corruption and other malfeasance.
These include the destruction or theft of 45,000 files at the Master’s office in Pretoria and the Cape Town office has backlogs in processing the registration of trusts. In the Mthatha master’s office, there is apparently little compliance oversight on millions of Rands in trusts emanating from medico-legal and Road Accident Fund litigation. It’s alleged that attorneys, instructed by the court to open trusts for their clients, deposit some of the money awarded to their clients and pocket the rest.
TONKIN CLACEY PRETORIA
012 346 1278