SARIPA welcomes SIU's probe into the offices of the Master of the High Court

By Janice Roberts

The South African Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Association (‘SARIPA’) welcomes the announcement by the President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday for the Special Investigation Unit (‘SIU’) “to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud and maladministration” in the offices of the Master of the High Court around the country. 

This has resulted in the temporary closure of all 15 Master’s offices around South Africa to the public and staff, excluding the Deputy Master of each office who is required to assist the SIU with all information relevant to the scope of the investigation. 

The Master, as a creature of statute and a branch of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development is regulated in its duties and powers by various Acts.

COO of SARIPA, Ms. René Bekker commented, “The 15 Master’s Offices across South Africa play a critical role”. 

The Insolvency division of the Master’s Office is of particular importance as the role of the Master is to regulate and supervise the administration of insolvent estates by appointing insolvency practitioners to administer the insolvent estates, safeguard all documents received in respect of any estate and to process all enquiries in relation to the insolvent estates speedily and professionally.

Ms. René Bekker noted, “Unfortunately, our members encounter difficulties daily, for example long delays are experienced in required responses from the Master’s offices and files at the Master’s offices go missing resulting in the delayed administration of insolvent estates”. 

SARIPA believes that such an in depth investigation will assist in the identification and resolution of problems which have been identified by insolvency practitioners and SARIPA members. The association are optimistic that the investigation will result in a report setting out remedial steps towards delivering efficient and professional services to the citizens of South Africa.

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