Constitutional Court rules in property case

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Constitutional Court Independent Newspapers. The Constitutional Court. Picture: Antoine de Ras.

Cape Town - The Constitutional Court has found in favour of a woman seeking to secure transfer of a property after paying half the purchase price, but then defaulting on further instalments.

It upheld Lorraine Botha's appeal against a judgment by the Northern Cape High Court.

That court granted the trustees' application to cancel her sale agreement and to evict the laundry business she ran from the premises.

Botha, who bought the property in 2003 for R240,000, then unsuccessfully counter-applied for an order to transfer the property into her name.

She argued that in terms of the Alienation of Land Act and the agreement, she was entitled to the transfer because she had paid more than half the purchase price.

After she failed to secure leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal, she approached the Constitutional Court.

In a unanimous decision, the Constitutional Court found Botha was entitled to transfer of the property as it would be unfair to deprive her of it after having paid half the purchase price.

It said the common law remedy of specific performance is not excluded by the Alienation of Land Act.

However, it ordered her to register a bond and to pay all outstanding arrears. - Sapa

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