The SCA has denied an appeal by an evicted family from a farm near Melkbosstrand outside Cape Town, notes a Cape Times report. The Stoffberg family had occupied the farm for more than a century after acquiring the land in 1895.

In 1959 the family acquired three farms and had consolidated them into one property.

The City of Cape Town, however, was the registered owner of the land after a new lease had not been signed.

SCA Judge Christiaan van der Merwe said: ‘Relying on the rei vindication, the City launched proceedings in the Western Cape High Court for the eviction of the appellants from the property.’

Marthinus Stoffberg and his brother entered into a written lease agreement with the city in 1969, where they jointly leased the property at an annual rental of R600.

Although each renewed lease agreement did not commence immediately upon the expiry of the previous one, the family in each case had continued to pay the rental in terms of the expired lease until the renewal.

After hearing evidence, the court concluded that the appellants did not prove that (Marthinus) had become the owner of the property. It consequently dismissed the counter-claim and granted the eviction order and ancillary relief sought by the City, with costs; but granted leave to the appellants to appeal to this court,’ said Van Der Merwe.

Full Cape Times report (subscription needed)

Stoffberg NO and Others v City of Cape Town