Singer Tshedi Mholo files property lawsuit, accuses body corp chair of emotional abuse
Johannesburg - Artist and businesswoman Tshedi Mholo has accused the chairperson of her body corporate of emotional abuse, harassment and trampling on her rights as a property owner.
In court documents filed as part of her battle with the Tudor Gardens Body Corporate at Florida in Gauteng, Mholo said Ronald Williams blocked her access to the shared services in retaliation after she demanded financial accountability.
The two parties are involved in a legal tussle which has shone the spotlight on the rights and obligations of parties in community schemes such as residential estates and complexes.
The battle is the subject of an investigation by the Community Scheme Ombud Service which regulates the conduct of the parties in community schemes.
It previously also attracted the interest of the police after Mholo opened a case of intimidation against Williams at the Florida police station in August last year.
According to court papers and lawyers’ letters seen by the Sunday Independent, inconsistent application of rules, services such as gardening and plumbing, property renovations and the right to do alterations are at the centre of the fight between the Malaika lead singer and the trustees of the body corporate led by Williams.
“There are no services. We are paying a lot of money and we don’t know where the money is. Why must I pay if I am not getting services?
“We keep paying but the finances aren’t even audited. When you ask, you get harassed. I have been staying here since 2007. They don’t renovate the place and when you want to use your own money, they don’t allow you. It’s abuse, basically,” Mholo said.
“Someone wanted to bring a dog in here and was refused. The other person was allowed. All I want to know is why I am paying if I am not getting services. When you ask they open cases against you. If you go to other complexes, the rules are so nice and easy. There are no stories.
“It’s only eight units, but they make things difficult. It’s not right.
“It’s not even healthy.”
She accused Williams of hiring an estate management company and doubling the amount of rates without consulting property owners.
Williams on Friday denied any wrong-doing.
“This is all lies, I don’t follow her social media, and I don’t know what she is talking about. I am not a chairman of the body corporate anymore. I don’t know why she said I am harassing her because I don’t have any communication with her.
“In fact, she is the one who is harassing me because she contacted you,” Williams said.
He declined to comment further as the matter was before the courts.
According to a summons served on Mholo by the body corporate in April last year, the businesswoman violated its rules when she installed a blue shade carport at her parking and divided the gate she shared with Williams.
“On or about 17th February 2019, the defendant (Mholo) unlawfully and unilaterally spoliated Ronald William’s right of access to and from his property by causing the shared entrance gate between Tudor Gardens 5 and 6 to be cut in half and usurping the use of the motorised section in such a way that only the defendant is capable of using it.
“Effectively leaving Ronald Williams with a stand-alone fence,” says part of the summons issued by the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court.
“As a result of the breach of the above agreement the defendant forfeited her right to a 50% payment arrangement with Ronald Williams from Unit 5 by neglecting to comply with the rules of conduct of the plaintiff and taking action on the defendant’s own accord.”
In a letter dated March 14, last year the Wits Law Clinic, which represented Mholo, maintained that she acted in good faith. It said Williams acted in bad faith when he reneged on a February 3, last year agreement to split the gate into two for safety reasons and share the costs.
“It is further our client’s instruction that she waited for a period of a year, for purposes of allowing Mr Williams to gather his part of the contribution towards the separation agreement. However, after such an inordinately prolonged period of waiting,upon consulting with him on numerous occasions, he indicated that he had no funds, thereby continuing to inconvenience our client’s right to access, possession and security,” argued the Wits Law Clinic.
In a separate lawyer’s letter, sent by law firm Sarlie and Ismail INC, the body corporate accused Mholo of violating the rules, saying her blue shade colour was “totally inconsistent with Tudor theme colours of black roof and a white paint”. But Mholo, who believes her life is in danger, said the letter was part of Williams’ ploy to victimise, dehumanise and violate her dignity as a person. Gauteng police spokesperson Mavela Masondo confirmed Mholo did open a case against Williams, but said it was “settled out of court after the parties came to an agreement”.