WHAT TRUSTEES SHOULD DO IF THEY NO LONGER HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THEIR SCHEME'S CHAIRPERSON
Although a chairperson has no "special powers" in the day to day running of a sectional title scheme and he or she is just a normal trustee of the body corporate - with his main job being to run proceedings at meetings - there might be instances where it is found that the chairperson is acting with his own agendas or interests that he is trying to "push forward".
The only time the chairperson has power over any other is when there is a deadlock at a trustee meeting. The chairperson will have the deciding or casting vote in this case - which he might use to further his own cause. In these instances, trustees may have lost confidence in their chairperson, and so would wish to remove him from the position. Although he is removed as chairperson, he would remain a trustee.
There is provision in the Sectional Title Schemes Management Act Regulations to remove the chairperson, and trustees should refer to Management Rule 12 within the Regulations, says Michael Bauer, managing director of property company SAProperty.com, specialists in sectional title management.
Management Rule 12(5) says, "The trustees at a trustees' meeting or the members at a general meeting may remove the chairperson from office if notice of the meeting contains a clear statement of the proposed removal; provided that such removal does not automatically remove the chairperson from the office of trustee."
The chairperson needs to be replaced immediately, as prescribed in Management Rule 12(6), which says, "If a chairperson is removed from office as such or ceases to hold office as a trustee, the remaining trustees must elect a replacement chairperson from among their number who holds office as chairperson for the remainder of the period of office of his or her predecessor and has the same voting rights."
Owners need to be mindful of the following:
- The members can only remove the chairperson from office at a general meeting (either the annual general meeting or a special general meeting);
- Removal of the chairperson from office only requires the passing of an ordinary resolution by the members;
- The members can only remove the chairperson from office if the passing of such resolution was clearly indicated as an agenda item on the notice calling the meeting;
- This removal of the chairperson from office does not constitute a removal of the person as trustee; and
- The members do not have the power to elect a replacement chairperson - this is done by the trustees
It has to be remembered, too, that the quorum requirements must be met for the meeting, whether annual general or special general meeting, and that the required notices must be sent out within the correct time frame, as prescribed by the rules, said Bauer.