|National housing scam|
|Written by Augetto Graig|
|Wednesday, 18 July 2012 22:59|
THE Namibia Home Owners Association (NHOA) this week made an impassioned appeal for intervention from the President and political parties, the media, the judiciary, home-owners and prospective home owners to stop what they call the ‘National Housing Scam.’
Citing four recent case-studies, as well as submissions on home loans to the National Assembly, the NHOA made a detailed case outlining various forms of entrenched corruption involving bankers in bed with lawyers, protected by insincere judges.
In February the Ombudsman approached the courts to sue government, the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General to oppose default judgments in execution of home sales. The High Court has since placed a moratorium on the auctioning of defaulting home-owners without the approval the courts.
According to the NHOA, represented by Erica Beukes, Amanda Tsoeu, Wilhelmina Swarts, Josef Karools and Friedrich Schroeder, they regard recent litigation by the Ombudsman as a diversion from the systematic defrauding of home-owners. They are also outraged by the perceived collusion of commercial banks and certain law firms whom they claim illegally inflate home-loan repayments and expedite execution sales to make huge profits from vulnerable home-owners. The association claims that certain law firms exist exclusively on their “criminal parasitism” on home loans.
Christiaan Gous of Fischer, Quarmby & Pfeifer said in response that his firm for one, is a “balanced commercial practice” and described the allegations as utter nonsense.
The NHOA maintains that specific complaints about the Registrar signing off default judgments have been directed to the Ombudsman by home-owners for the past 7 years and he chose to ignore them.
In turn Ombudsman John Walters said, “Why would I waste tax-payers money for a smokescreen? It stands to reason that one does not litigate just for the sake of litigation. Common sense dictates that one has to wait for the most appropriate matter where one’s chances of success are almost guaranteed. The matter and moment have arrived. Therefore I can assure the five unhappy citizens that our office made sure that we have sufficient grounds in law and fact before we filed our application and it is filed before a competent court.”
The Ombudsman sought a judgment to the effect that default judgments issued by the Registrar are unconstitutional. “If the Ombudsman and his co-applicants are successful, the banks and other creditors, which had obtained default judgments before the judgment in this matter, will not be liable for the losses of home-owners for the previous illegal judgments of the Registrar. The loss of homes before the judgment will be legalised,” the NHOA objected.
“It is absurd to get judicial oversight by judges who are totally on the side and under the control of rogue legal firms and the banks. The courts are instruments in the fraud and general abuse which robs home-owners of their most important asset, their homes. The manner in which the courts do it is nothing but common street robbery,” the association alleged.