Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fisa calls for strict measures

Good day all,

This article will give you another good reason why you do not want to die without a last will! And yet so clients do not have one.

2010-10-11 19:36

Pretoria - The Fiduciary Institute of SA (Fisa) on Monday called for the Guardian's Fund, which has lost an estimated R80m to fraud and theft, to be placed under the management of a regulated financial institution.

In a statement Fisa chairperson John Gibson said such an institution, be it a bank or a trust, should have the necessary controls in place to administer the fund.

Fisa's call followed the announcement on Sunday by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe that since February 2010 there had been an investigation into allegations that corrupt officials in collusion with syndicates had defrauded the Guardian's Fund of about R80m.

The investigation involved the Hawks, the Special Investigating Unit and the National Prosecuting Authority.

The Guardian's Fund falls under the administration of the Master of the High Court and was created to hold and administer funds paid to the Master on behalf of various people such as minors, people who are incapable of managing their own affairs, unborn heirs and missing or absent people.

Radebe said corrupt officials gave out particulars of the legitimate beneficiaries and that syndicates then made use of fraudulently obtained identity documents to open up bank accounts and claim benefits in collusion with corrupt officials.

One syndicate member had claimed 15 times for the same beneficiary.

Gibson said an institution tasked with managing the fund should have a "national footprint" because the "scattered" administration and the "decrepit administration controls" of the fund left it open to abuse.

It was estimated that in 2007 the Guardian's Fund had about R2bn that was invested with the Public Investment Commission and audited annually.


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