Tiago Mendonca wrote an email to the president as he says his access to his late father’s estate has been blocked by officials at the Guardian’s Fund. Picture: Supplied
Tiago Mendonca wrote an email to the president as he says his access to his late father’s estate has been blocked by officials at the Guardian’s Fund. Picture: Supplied

Cape schoolboy, 14, asks Ramaphosa to help him access his late father’s estate

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Feb 6, 2020

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Cape Town - A 14-year-old Cape Town schoolboy who claims his access to his late father’s estate has been blocked by officials at the Guardian’s Fund has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa for assistance.

Tiago Mendonca, wrote his email to the president as news of Monday’s announcement about the Special Investigation Unit’s (SIU) probe into allegations of maladministration, corruption and fraud in the office of the Master of the High Court broke.

In his letter Mendonca said after his and his adoptive father Clive Barrow’s efforts to get help from the Guardian’s Fund were rebuffed, he was forced to appoint a lawyer to pursue the matter.

The Guardian’s Fund was created to receive and manage money on behalf of persons who were legally incapable or do not have the capacity to manage their own affairs. This includes minors, unborn heirs, and missing or absent persons. Mendonca, who has been accepted at Wynberg Boys High School and needs the money to settle his fees, said: “The money my father left me was for my education and health.”

Referring to Barrow as “dad”, Mendonca said: “My dad twice visited the Guardians Fund but was not assisted by anyone.

“Attempts to see Mabandla Dondolo, the assistant director, in December 2019 and in January, failed.

“Only after my lawyer spoke to Dondolo on January 13 did he afford my dad a meeting on January 14,” said Mendonca.

“Dondolo promised to expedite matters so that the grant application could be processed.

“However, on January 31, we were informed by the school that the fund had not paid.

“My dad’s account was debited with late penalty fees.”

On Tuesday, the SIU conducted a search and seizure operation at the Masters’ Offices across the country and the justice ministry shut down all Masters’ Offices across the country to enable the SIU to gather information relevant to their investigation.

Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said: “We want a Masters’ Office that will conduct its affairs with integrity in line with Batho Pele (People First) principles and not squander resources meant for the poor and vulnerable in society.”

@MwangiGithahu

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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