ANOTHER property erected by controversial property developer Braam Lamprecht has been approved by an inspector under suspicious circumstances.
David Wessels, the electrician tasked with inspecting the upmarket apartment complex at 11 Diaz Road, pleaded guilty in the Humansdorp Court on March 30 of contravening national building regulations when he issued a certificate of compliance notwithstanding serious electrical defects.
Some of the defects admitted by Wessels was the use of incorrect electrical cabling, 15 lights without switches, exposed electrical connections, geyser isolators not designated and incorrect fitting of down-lighters.
He admitted that at the time he "unlawfully and knowingly, for the purposes of allowing the owner to request a certificate of occupancy, issued a compliance certificate which was substantially incorrect”.
He was sentenced to a fine of R10000 or six months jail time.
Laverne de Paiva, on behalf of Tonsanby family trust which owns three apartments in the complex, said: "We have reported various defects in the building to Lamprecht and the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC). Occupation certificates were issued before the work was completed.”
Wessels has since fixed all the electrical defects but De Paiva said fire fighting equipment was found to be below standard and the lift was not fit for public use. She said they were contemplating legal action, either against Lamprecht or the NHBRC.
The Kouga Municipality declared the premises did not comply with fire prevention regulations and that all pipes would have to be replaced and the fire hose reels on all floors had to be moved.
Wessels said he was approached by Slipknot Investments 18 (Pty) Ltd, the owners of the building, to issue a certificate if he was satisfied that the electrical wiring and other electrical installations were in accordance with the provisions of all applicable laws. It is believed Lamprecht is closely involved with the company.
In March last year, Frederick van Willing, a former building inspector, alleged that in February 2007 he was bribed by an employee of Braam Lamprecht to issue an occupancy certificate for Neptune Terrace in Da Gama Street.
Van Willing, who was found guilty of fraud, admitted to issuing the certificates knowing full well that he did not inspect the building.
At the time Lamprecht denied any knowledge of the incident and indicated the person alleged to have bribed Van Willing was not employed by him.
Lamprecht said he was not prepared to talk about Wessels.
"I don't want to talk about it. I had nothing to do with it,” he said.