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Masters Office – Lost Trust Deeds

Missing trust files disappeared a long time ago

The mystery of the 45 000 trust files destroyed at the Master’s Office in Pretoria deepens with each parliamentary answer, according to Rapport. In the latest response to a question from Wouter Wessels (FF Plus), Justice Minister Ronald Lamola revealed the files were apparently destroyed as far back as September 2012 and that the government has instituted a civil action against its former document storage service provider, Docufile. It was only when officials started searching for files at the new service provider, Metrofile, at the end of last year that they realised something was amiss. Lamola says Docufile’s storage facility in Centurion was severely damaged by a storm, but the provider allegedly discarded the damaged files without giving the Master’s Office the opportunity to inspect them to see what could be recovered. As the Master’s Office does not have the contact details of the affected trustees and beneficiaries, those affected by the loss can only be identified when someone inquires about their files.