Boy’s guardian blamed for holding up release of funds from late father’s estate
Cape Town – Nearly a year after he wrote an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa that his access to his late father’s estate had been blocked by officials at the Guardian’s Fund, Cape Town schoolboy Tiago Mendonca says he is still waiting for full access to the funds.
After the news story appeared in the Cape Argus last February, some funds were paid towards his schooling.
Tiago, now 15, claims ever since then it has been a battle to get money from the office of the Master of the High Court when he needs it, such as when he suffered from a bad case of asthma late last year.
Tiago said: “The Master’s Office is doing nothing to resolve my matter.”
His legal guardian, Clive Barrows, said: “Funds intended for his health are now desperately needed, especially in the current Covid-19 environment.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Stephen Mahlangu, said Barrows was the stumbling block in the matter.
Mahlangu said: “After looking closely into the facts of this matter, it has been found that the main issue has been that Mendonca’s legal guardian, Clive Barrows, has been unco-operative with the office that is dealing with this issue and has continuously refused to adhere to the process and requirements for application which would enable payments to be processed.
“One example of Barrows’s demeanour in dealing with the office is that when he claims for medical expenses, he refuses to furnish the office of the Master of the High Court with proof in this regard. This is among a number of brick walls that officials are met with when attempting to assist.
“A formal letter has been sent to Barrows as recently as October 9 which addressed his complaints and also served to advise him on the process that he needs to follow in order to remedy any delays in the payment of Mendonca’s allowance, medical costs and sundries.
“The letter presented a clear and concise outline of the process that needs to be followed, although... this has been explained to him on many occasions by officials from the Master’s Office.
“The Master’s Office remains committed to assisting and expediting claims, as is their duty, but beneficiaries must follow processes to enable the office to do its work under the prescripts of the law.”