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BC funds wasted by trustee

By Rowena Wolf on Sun, 11 Feb 2018 at 11:46

In our complex we have one trustee that rents our her unit here, so does not stay in the complex on the premises. She thinks she is "queen of the castle" and rules from afar.
Five of the trustees voted to have it at her place, bar one who stands up to her, but only because they don't have the guts to oppose or disagree with her as she has an answer for everything and "rules the roost". Every time a trustee meeting is called the trustees must have it at her house which is some distance from our complex. Now she has decided (plus 4 trustees) that the AGM must be held in a 'rented hall' which she has authorised payment of because she has the financial portfolio!
Only the trustees were present at the first meeting, and it had to be postponed because no owners will attend off the premises and a quorum was not present.
It has now been reconvened where still no one will attend again, because of the travelling distance. There is no valid reason why all meetings cannot be held in the complex which is convenient for everyone.
My 2 questions are: Can she or the trustees who voted with her, be held liable for the payment as this is a total waste of BC funds?
Is there any option or cause to prevent her from ordering meetings at her house or off the premises?












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RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Murray Bennett replied on Sun, 11 Feb 2018 at 13:41

AS far as I am aware the act and rules do not state exactly where meeting must be held? These extracts from the regulations apply to your situation:
Trustees meetings:
(5) The trustees may make arrangements for attendance at a trustee meeting by telephone or any other method, if the method —
(a) is accessible to all trustees and other persons entitled to attend the meeting;
(b) permits all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other during the meeting; and
(c) permits the chairperson to confirm, with reasonable certainty, the identity of the participants.
(6) A person who attends a meeting as provided under sub-rule
(5) is considered present in person at the meeting.
Annual General Meeting:
(4) If within 30 minutes from the time appointed for a general meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting stands adjourned to the same day in the next week at the same place and time; provided that if on the day to which the meeting is adjourned a quorum as described in sub-rule (2) is not present within 30 minutes from the time appointed for the meeting, the members entitled to vote and present in person or by proxy constitute a quorum.

RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Desiree Mansfield replied on Mon, 12 Feb 2018 at 04:43

Hi Murray,
I am sure the person is aware of what the Act says regarding meetings, but is wanting a more precise reply, as I can see her frustration. Surely this should not be allowed, and should be stopped. She needs a more precise reply especially to the one question regarding holding the trustee responsible for the waste of BC funds? This site has had numerous complaints of such trustees exerting their authority and surely in this specific case cannot be allowed to continue in this manner. After all, the trustees works for the BC, and surely they should stop this practice?

RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Rowena Wolf replied on Mon, 12 Feb 2018 at 06:51

Good Day. Thank you for your reply Murray. Need to firstly agree with Mrs Mansfield need more on this.

Then you are saying the following re the AGM : If within 30 minutes from the time appointed for a general meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting stands adjourned to the same day in the next week at the same place and time; provided that if on the day to which the meeting is adjourned a quorum as described in sub-rule (2) is not present within 30 minutes from the time appointed for the meeting, the members entitled to vote and present in person or by proxy constitute a quorum....Show More

RE: RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Murray Bennett replied on Mon, 12 Feb 2018 at 23:03

Hi Desiree, the reason that I posted those extracts is becuase as far as I can glean from the original post the trustees are acting within their rights. It's interesting that instead of the meeting being held at the same time and place the following week, the trustees have chosen to rather call for a new AGM which seems to indicate that they want owner input. The only other option that I can see for the owners if they are unhappy with the current trustees is to ensure that they nominate themselves themselves stand as trustees at the upcoming AGM and garner enough support between themselves to ensure that the current trustees are not re-elected. A question that comes to mind is how long would it take to drive to where the trustees have arranged to hold the AGM? Obviously if the journey takes an hour or two it would be unreasonable to expect owners to attend at that venue. Also is there a suitable room available for a general meeting at the complex which is large enough to accommodate all the owners?

RE: RE: RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Desiree Mansfield replied on Tue, 13 Feb 2018 at 04:30

Hi Murray,
Thanks for explaining in more detail. Only Rowena Wolf can answer your question where and how long it will take to drive to hold the AGM, as well as if the trustees have room enough at the complex to accommodate them and owners. Reading her post, I would think there is, as why would she complain about travelling to a venue. Its more about the funds this trustee is wasting in hiring a hall, now for the 2nd time, and nobody will pitch once again and more funds will be wasted! This site has had numerous complaints about trustees abusing their powers such as she describes. It is difficult in a complex to drum up enough support to vote them out when people are not interested in getting involved. I know as I live in such a complex as when you approach them, all you get is 'I'm too busy to get involved".

RE: RE: RE: RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Murray Bennett replied on Tue, 13 Feb 2018 at 10:40

Therein lies the problem.
Regarding the hall, our complex is fairly large so for general meetings we have to hire a hall large enough to accommodate all owners as they are entitled to attend.
In reality though, as we only make our quorum with proxies received, we could easily accommodate those who generally actually attend into one of the units in the complex. Our hiring a hall for every general meeting is wasteful but necessary, we have no way of being certain as the number of people who will attend.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Desiree Mansfield replied on Thu, 15 Feb 2018 at 05:46

So far from the responses received, this question is not going to be solved. Yes depending if your complex is fairly large OK. We have ALWAYS had all our meetings at the complex and had and still have ample space, but since this particular trustee came on the trustees board, things changed to suit her as remember she is not resident in the complex, plus wasting our money on a hall for approx 15-20 people. As far as I know the BC is the boss so to speak, and the trustees carry out their instructions, but she has made herself the boss, and everyone jumps to her beck and call and instruction, even the trustees serving with her.

RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Murray Bennett replied on Thu, 15 Feb 2018 at 14:17

A chairperson is not the boss & cannot act alone. The trustees are elected by the owners and then nominate one person from among themselves as chairperson. Decisions cannot be made by the chairperson, there has to majority agreement by the number of trustees who form a quorum at trustees meetings. IMO from the contents of the post, neither the trustees nor the chair person have acted "mal fide". Besides ousting the current trustees if they are unhappy with them IMO the owners can by simple majority vote [under instructions and restrictions] at the next AGM, to instruct the trustees as to where trustee and general meetings must be held.

RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

andrew church replied on Thu, 15 Feb 2018 at 18:45

IMO the owners can by simple majority vote [under instructions and restrictions] at the next AGM, to instruct the trustees as to where trustee and general meetings must be held.
--------------
Thank you Murray Bennett for this information [under instructions and restrictions] on the AGM agenda

RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

V L Nagy replied on Fri, 16 Feb 2018 at 08:33

Thanks all, this is an interesting thread. At my complex the 'trustees' provide food and refreshments from our BC budget for their meetings... at the AGM they provide nothing. Do you think they are entitled to spend BC funds in such a way?

RE: RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

Desiree Mansfield replied on Sat, 17 Feb 2018 at 05:46

Thanks Murray & Amdrew for further info. This helps.
As I understand from the post this trustee in question is not the chairperson, just a trustee, but the chairperson allows her these powers, probably too scared to challenge her as the post read.
I see another complaint about trustees wasting BC money posted. Seems this goes on in a lot of complexes and the trustees do just what they like, thinking they are the boss! I blame the owners for this as they should stand up and stop it.

RE: BC funds wasted by trustee

andrew church replied on Sun, 18 Feb 2018 at 13:33

( In our complex we have one trustee ... She thinks she is "queen of the castle" and rules from afar ??? )
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In a recent posting we are able to see that owners will walk away if they feel uncomfortable ? Section 10(5) might soon be able to solve this problem (see below)
Roger Webb replied on Sun, 18 Feb 2018 at 07:59
( We used to be trustees and very much involved, but as with many groups, prejudice & discrimination against us forced us to retreat.)
-----------------------------
During the SONA in parliament the new Leader touched on some of these problems facing ordinary citizens ? Clearly Trustees must now become aware that when attempting to carry out their duties or when interacting with other fellow members A good place to start is to test what they believe or test their rules against the provisions of the Constitution of South Africa – this being the supreme law of the Republic. Clearly no law or rule of a body corporate or trustee can be contrary to any provision of the Constitution.
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In conclusion we are now starting to see Mini Governments forming in some body corporate. This is causing a major distraction away from the focus on the PMR of 2016 and the Constitutional rights of owners and investors in some of the schemes. It is obvious that by accepting a leader of a body corporate that the leader will introduce understandings that will be in conflict with the Constitution. This then will show up in the conduct rules. The leader will attempt to control the body corporate by drafting new conduct rules that discriminate, segregate, oppress and dispossess some of the owners of their ordinary rights.
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Luck for many new owners ? Section 10(5) of the Act has come just in time, to save them from further discrimination ? This means new and amended rules ONLY come into operation on the date that the chief Ombud issues a certificate approving the rules or on the opening of the sectional title register for the scheme, whichever date is the latest
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It it is during this process that many owners HOPE that some conduct rules will be seen as INVALID ??? For example rules or actions by trustees must not cause absurd results; harsh, onerous, unjust, inequitable or discriminatory treatment ( see further on this below )
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Keep in mind there are also a number of additional presumptions in regard to the intention that underlies a Trustee actions or the rules that he may draft. It is presumed, for example, that the rule is intended to advance the community’s best interests. There are also presumptions against: absurd results; harsh, onerous, unjust, inequitable or discriminatory treatment; and retrospectivity ( regulating an action taken before the rule became effective ) ???
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