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Machanik's house sold in auction

Jul 15 2011 13:04 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Fraud accused property doyenne Wendy Machanik's luxurious home in Sandton, Johannesburg, sold for R7.8m at auction on Friday.

Auction Alliance sales director Craig Berman said the house went to "a Johannesburg businessman" who did not want to be named.

Bidding started at R5m but reached R7m within minutes, when only two unidentified men were left fighting it out.

Auctioneer Rael Levitt described the property as being in a "prime position, with some of the greatest of people living in the area".

According to an auction brochure, the four-bedroom, 1631 square metre home is a "superb Bridget Grosskopff-designed cluster home" which "boasts glorious entertainment spaces with an ease of flow that is a rare luxury".

It has a generous entrance, spacious lounge and dining areas, and a substantial entertainment area.

"With a chef's kitchen, a scullery, a walk-in cold room and two staff suites, this home is designed for ease of lifestyle in opulent spaces with state-of-the-art home automation and security."

Machanik made headlines in December, when the Estate Agency Affairs Board successfully applied to the high court in Johannesburg to have her agency's trust accounts placed under curatorship, following alleged financial irregularities.

In January, the court ruled that Machanik should not be granted a fidelity fund certificate for 2011, which would have allowed her to operate as an estate agent.

The court then made a final order in May, prohibiting Wendy Machanik Property Holdings or Machanik herself from operating "trust, savings accounts or other interest-bearing accounts".

The Estate Agency Affairs Board also laid criminal charges which led to the charging of Machanik, the close corporation Wendy Machanik Property Holdings, and its chief financial officer Bruce Bernstein with conspiracy to commit fraud, among other things.

They allegedly made irregular transfers totalling R28m from Wendy Machanik Property Holdings to a fictitious account.

Machanik allegedly used this money to keep her company afloat and for personal expenses.

Machanik and Bernstein are due back in court on July 21 to face these charges.

The case was postponed in April as Machanik had run out of funds to pay her legal expenses, but her lawyer Cyril Ziman said in May that she had since acquired enough money "for the immediate future".
wendy machanik  |  estate agencies
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