Turning the wheels of Justice

It would seem that the wheels of Justice do eventually turn albeit very slowly in South Africa. And, just how slowly seem to be the case when Elsie Gundwana found herself on the wrong side a case against her by Nedbank and Steko Development. Simply put, this woman was in the process of losing her home due to a sale in execution.

The problems started as far back as 2003 when the first judgment was passed against her. She then paid monies over to the bank and continued to pay irregularly over the next few years and was under the assumption that the matter had been resolved. It was only in 2007 that Ms Gundwana found to her horror that the sale in execution was indeed to take place.

After a further payment to the bank Ms Gundwana once again assumed that the matter was under control. In August the property was sold in execution to Steko Development and she continued to live on the property. It was only after an eviction order was granted that all these irregularities came to light. Through all the various hearings it was proven that her constitutional rights had also been trampled on by the courts through a lack of information and correct procedures.

After a series of appeals by all parties concerned the matter the judgment against Ms Gundwana will be rescinded. Ms Gundwana has been fortunate to have this decision changed and ruled in her favor but sadly many others have not been so lucky.

What has been uncovered during this is a veritable nightmare that consumers should be made aware of. Through an intervention by Consumer Guardian Services, a company that specializes in helping consumers through the tangle of legalities involved with sales in execution, it has also come to light that Ms Gundwana has been overcharged quite dramatically by the bank.

Apart from all of this, it has also come to light that there are a huge number of corrupt sheriffs who are appointed by the banks to execute the auctions on these properties. It would seem that the sheriffs are involved with crime syndicates to purchase these properties for knock down prices – some as low as 30% of the real value of said properties.

This practice was exposed by Noseweek in an article published in December last year. At last the Board of Sheriffs has been shaken out of its slumber and is now taking action against this odious practice. It is extremely sad that the plight of a poor woman is what it takes for the wheels of justice to finally turn but the hope is that by exposing banks that overcharge and rooting out corrupt sheriffs these same wheels will turn a bit faster in the future.

Leave a Reply

© 2020: Problem Bond | South Africa, All Rights Reserved | D5 Business Line Theme by: D5 Creation | Powered by: WordPress