Secondary

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A second bite at the apple

The Groenewald determination, which just came to hand, indicates a more democratic approach by the Ombud.

In the past, a determination was made, signed, sealed and delivered.

This case saw the Ombud make a recommendation to the respondent, with a deadline to respond to certain questions. On receipt of the response, a final determination was made.

In our view, this is a big improvement on the old system, and could possibly lead to a reduction in the number of appeals against Ombud determinations. It is, in fact, almost a mini appeal forum.

Delayed Syndication Determinations

The Groenewald determination also explains why there was a lull in syndication determinations.

“…in 2013, following the Siegrist and Bekker determinations and the relevant appeal, a decision was taken by the Office to halt processing property syndication related complaints. The decision was not taken lightly, but was a necessary precautionary risk management step as the Office sought to hold the directors of property syndication schemes liable for complainants’ losses. The said appeal was finally decided in April 2015, after which the Office resumed (with due regard to the decision) processing complaints involving property syndications.

As many as 2000 (mainly property syndication related) complaints had to be shelved pending the decision of the Appeals Board.”

The Groenewald investment was made in 2006, and the determination has only now been made. This is not good news for those who still have unresolved complaints. It also means that we are likely to see a huge increase in such determinations over the next few months.

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