Swaziland offers tale of alleged estate abuse

At a recent hearing before the Texas House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, Austin estate planning attorney Alvin Golden commented that “greed is a stronger force than gravity.”  That is one statement with which we wholeheartedly agree and exposure to the world of estate abuse – including its mutually parasitic relationship with the legal industry – has done more than anything to entrench that belief to the depths of our soul.

Greed is also a global force.  We’ve posted estate theft stories from many first-world locales, but this interesting piece comes from the Times of Swaziland.  Governments (or sometimes thugocracies acting as governments) usually make property accumulation in third world environments difficult at best.  Here we seem to have executors controlling assets via “estate administration” with beneficiaries finding recourse for alleged mismanagement or impropriety a challenging experience.  Sound familiar?

MBABANE – The children of the late Prince Sulumlomo are involved in a legal battle of the deceased’s property.

Seven years after the deceased passed on, seven of the children want their two siblings Mlandvo and Susan Dlamini, who were appointed co-executors, to auction the three properties to the beneficiaries.

They accuse the co-executors of failing to wind up the estate in total contravention of the Administration of Estates Act of 1902.

The applicants in the matter are Lomaciniso, Temphilo, Lomafa and Thulile Dlamini. The others are Lomyalo, Makhosekhinya and Vusi Dlamini.

An affidavit filed by Lomaciniso on behalf of the applicants claims that the co-executors were appointed on September 14, 2009, but up to today they have not wound up the estate to be distributed among the deceased’s beneficiaries.

Lomaciniso claims that two of the properties which are in Mbabane, stand to be sold by the Mbabane City Council for rates arrears.

The properties in question are plot 698 situated at Mbabane extension 4 and plot 2797 situated at Sidvwashini.

She claims that plot 556 in Pigg’s Peak Township also owes rates to the Pigg’s Peak Town Council and may be sold by public auction to recover the rates.

She claims that Prince Sulumlomo Mabhedla Dlamini passed away on November 17, 2003 and his estate was reported to the Master of the High Court in the same year.

“There were no assets found in the estate, except three immovable properties.

There was no activity on the Master’s file until the first and second respondents (Mlandvo and Susan respectively) were appointed to administer the estate,” she said.

She claims that the two were supposed to be in charge of the estate and pay all its expenses, claim monies due to it from creditors and then file distribution accounts within six months of their appointment.

She claimed that earlier this year, the Mbabane Municipal Council issued a notice through this publication that all rate defaulters should pay up or their properties would be auctioned to recover the owed rates.

“On receipt of this information, I was shocked that our little hope on the estate was going to be sold by public auction in order to pay rates which are being owed by the first and second respondents,” Lomaciniso said.

She says once the properties have been sold by the two municipalities, the beneficiaries would be left with nothing to share from the estate.

She claims that the Mbabane plots owe E8 263.97 while E6 233.76 is outstanding for the Pigg’s Peak property.

She argues that the application is aimed at protecting the interests of the beneficiaries in the handling of the estate by the co-executors.

The matter was heard by High Court Judge Justice Mbutfo Mamba. Derrick ‘Ndo’ Jele appeared on behalf of the applicants, while Mbuso Simelane represented Susan. Mlandvo was not represented.

Judge Mamba postponed the matter to June 3, 2011 and ordered the parties to meet and decide on what would be best for the beneficiaries about the property.

…Mlandvo accused of getting E1.5m

MBABANE – Mlandvo Dlamini has been accused of pocketing E1.5million after selling flats belonging to the late Prince Sulumlomo.

Lawyer Mbuso Simelane yesterday told court that there is a pending case within the traditional authorities where Dlamini has been reported. He said Dlamini never shared the money with the other beneficiaries of the estate.

He also applied that the matter should be dismissed with costs, because it had been brought strangely.

“It is very strange that one can apply for the removal of executors through an urgent application.

Cited

The applicants who have been cited have not attached affidavits to the application My Lord.

The matter should just be dismissed,” Simelane said.

He also said the matter was not urgent because the applicants knew as far back as January that the property owed rates with the Mbabane City Council. He said they should have filed an application then.

Dealing

Judge Mamba said the applicants represented by lawyer Derrick Jele had other alternatives in dealing with the matter than just approaching the High Court.

He however said he did not mean that they were not supposed to approach the Court.

Estate has no money – Mlandvo

MBABANE – One of the executors Mlandvo Dlamini has said Prince Sulumlomo’s estate does not have money; therefore, it should be sold by public auction.

He yesterday told the High Court that the estate would not have money to settle the rates with the Mbabane and Pigg’s Peak municipal councils. He said the beneficiaries (applicants in the matter) did approach him after the Mbabane Municipal council issued a notice for defaulters to settle their rates.

Dlamini accused his co-executor Susan that she was deliberately refusing to co-operate so that the property could be wound up. He claimed that he has approached her several times, but she does not want to co-operate with him.

“The estate does not have money to pay the rates. I suggest that it should be sold,” Mlandvo said.

High Court Judge Justice Mbutfo Mamba ordered Mlandvo to put down in writing his opinion on what should be done about the estate.

 

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