On 23 February 2016, the Appeal Board received a request for postponement of a hearing scheduled for the following day. The appellant and his attorney submitted medical certificates confirming that they had both undergone surgery and was unable to attend.
In its decision, the Appeal Board notes: “This appeal has a history of extensive and undue delay of almost three years.”
The appeal was first filed in May 2013. Subsequently, an unsuccessful appeal to introduce further and new evidence caused a delay of nearly two years. Between August and December 2015, the parties were unable to arrange an agreed upon date for the hearing. The Appeal Board therefore issued a directive, stipulating 24 February 2016 as the date of the hearing.
The Board is quite scathing in its views on the matter:
To date the Appellant has failed to show good prospects of success and his bona fides in finalising the matter.
He has failed to file one shred of evidence demonstrating that the Registrar’s findings could be wrong. He had a perfect opportunity to do so, with the interim application.
It is obviously convenient for the Appellant not to finalise this appeal as he had been granted leave to continue his business as a financial service provider. By virtue of the Chairperson’s ruling, the debarment was suspended on 2 May 2013.
In our view the request for this postponement is not justified. The delays have already prejudiced and will further prejudice the Registrar. This Appeal Board finds that it is in the interest of justice to finalise the matter. The Registrar has an obligation to the industry and to the public to finalise its appeals.
The Appeal Board ruled that the appellant was effectively debarred for 2 months and 1 week prior to his appeal. The balance of the debarment period of five years was made effective from the date of the decision, 7 March 2016, for a period of 4 years and 10 months.
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