Estate Agency’s Doors Remain Close

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By Desie Heita

Windhoek

Pam Golding Properties is stuck in a difficult situation, with its doors closed for business. The Namibia Estate Agents Board closed it down after finding the company’s chief executive officer, Daphne Swanepoel, guilty of various professional misconduct.

Daphne Swanepoel has asked for an appeal of which the date cannot yet be set by the Namibia Estate Agents Board as the board is one member short. Board members are appointed by Cabinet, a process that might take some time.

For now the estate agents operating under Pam Golding Properties in Windhoek and Swakopmund are out of work.

“We are looking at other options,” said Phillip Swanepoel of Pam Golding Properties Namibia.

These options include replacing the current chief executive officer with an interim CEO. But this also has to be clarified with the Namibia Estate Agents Board, said Phillip Swanepoel.

Attempts by Daphne Swanepoel to obtain a High Court interdict on April 29 failed as the High Court did not consider the application for the reopening of the business under her management as urgent.

Troubles for Pam Golding Properties started with the property developer Antoine Mbok who charged that Pam Golding Properties, and another estate agent, engaged in unprofessional conduct.

Mbok laid charges with the Namibia Estate Agents Board that Pam Golding Properties was mismanaging clients’ money entrusted with the estate agent in a trust fund, and that Pam Golding Properties leaked client confidential information to news media, as against the statutes of the board.

The Namibia Estate Agents Board found the estate agent guilty and ordered the closure of the business.

However, Daphne Swanepoel argues that the board’s action “did not promote or maintain the integrity of its estate agents, nor did it assure the agency of its right to justice, fair, impartial and equal treatment”. She is also denying the allegations, saying she has more than ample proof to the contrary.

Phillip Swanepoel said the re-opening of the business under new management “would allow other estate agents to at least go on with their business”, while Daphne Swanepoel and the Namibia Estate Agents Board resolve their issue.

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