Legal Articles and Guides
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More than 225 applicants, mostly from Gauteng townships, have launched a suit in the Constitutional Court, claiming damages from the big banks for home repossession abuse. A GroundUp report says the applicants are claiming R60bn from the banks for unlawful repossession of homes since the Constitution came into effect in 1994.
A recent High Court judgment of Abigak 1 General Trading & Investment CC v Gani and Another; Gani and Another v Balkin and Others (1184/16; 6620/16)  ZAGPJHC 126 is yet another reminder of how essential it is to comply with all necessary formalities when entering into any sort of agreement, particularly when dealing with the sale of property.
The City of Johannesburg is set to clamp down on developers and builders who build without approved plans and approvals. In what The Star reports is to believed to be a serious precedent, the city is in the processing a back-dated interdict against a development company, Balwin Properties (Pty) Ltd, for the illegal construction of some 1 000 units in Crawthorne.
Luxury game lodge Kichaka has lost a vital court battle to continue its access to land owned by the family that founded the American Heinz dynasty. A Daily Dispatch report notes from Tuesday next week, guests staying at the Kichaka Lodge face the inconvenience of having to circumnavigate a massive portion of land bought by the Heinz-Youness family if it wants to view game on the rest of the conservancy.
The Constitutional Court’s decision in Baron and others v Claytile (Pty) Limited and Another is a missed opportunity to enhance the usefulness of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (Esta) as a tool that can enable farm dwellers to take control of their lives. The Act recognises that the farm dweller’s rights to live on commercial farmlands are precarious.
Former employees of a brick plant in Cape Town have lost their five-year battle to hold on to their farm homes, notes a TimesLIVE report. Yesterday the Constitutional Court said they should move 30km from Muldersvlei‚ near Klapmuts‚ to Wolwerivier‚ near Atlantis‚ which they argued is too far from their children’s schools and their workplace. A spokesperson for Lawyers for Human Rights‚ which represented the ex-employees‚ said the judgment was disappointing.
Buy-to-let property can be an excellent investment. Just be sure that you take into account the possible difficulty, cost and delay of evicting a defaulting tenant – or indeed any unlawful occupier – who refuses to budge. The problem of course is that you have to keep on paying all your property expenses whilst the legal processes grind their way slowly, painfully and expensively through the courts.
Here’s yet another reminder from our courts on how important it is – if you want to avoid the trials of litigation – for you to have your property sale agreement drawn up professionally. One thing it must do, as the case in question clearly shows, is record the terms of your agreement precisely and without any room for argument. This High Court case in Phepeng and Another v Estate Late Ame Combrinck and Others revolved around a “bond clause” in a sale agreement.
Two posh mansions owned by a Cape Flats pastor accused of running a multi-million rand Ponzi scheme has gone under the hammer. According to a report on the IoL site, the five-bedroom Plattekloof house of Colin Davids, the director of Platinum Forex Group, was sold within 10 minutes at an auction held at the property in Melkhout Street. Bidding started at R2m and the highest bid received was a whopping R4.6m.
The KZN High Court (Durban) has ordered an Amanzimtoti businessman to demolish the store he erected illegally, or risk prison time, says a report in The Mercury. Deepak Bhardwaj has been found in contempt of a 2015 court order – interdicting him from trading from the Wanda Cele Road property at which Toti Saverite is located. He was given two months to tear the structure down, failing which he could be sent to prison.
The City of Johannesburg will not be able to meet the Constitutional Court’s requirement to provide alternative accommodation to people evicted from illegally occupied buildings, because it simply does not have enough space. According to a Mail & Guardian Online report, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said: ‘At the moment, we don’t have the capacity to accommodate people who would still be evicted.’
The Legal Resources Centre has welcomed a Constitutional Court judgment which has implications for the conduct of courts in future evictions of occupiers, says a TimesLIVE report. The centre represented the Poor Flat Dwellers Association‚ a non-profit organisation formed in 2009 to resist the exploitation of flat dwellers‚ as a friend of the court in the case in which the Constitutional Court held that courts have an obligation to consider all relevant considerations before ordering an eviction‚ in cases where an unlawful occupier has apparently consented to his removal.
Courts have an obligation to consider all relevant considerations before ordering an eviction‚ in cases where an unlawful occupier has purportedly consented to his removal. The Constitutional Court made this finding yesterday as it rescinded a 2013 order made by the High Court evicting 184 occupiers from a block of flats in Johannesburg. The decision has been described as momentous by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri)‚ which represented the occupiers, notes a TimesLIVE report.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has refused to enforce an ‘accelerator’ clause in a home loan agreement based on a 2016 Constitutional Court judgment making it much more difficult for banks to take back the homes of defaulters, a Beeld report notes.
Government has missed the deadline to respond to the District Six Working Committee’s demands about the number of land claims it had received and those it had approved for financial compensation, says a Cape Times report. The committee’s attorney, Nicki van’t Riet, said yesterday that they would go ahead with litigation following the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti’s failure to provide answers to their letter of demands sent more than a month ago.