Couple face losing houses over unpaid school fees

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ZELDA VENTER

THE PARENTS of a Pretoria Boys High pupil could lose two of their properties for allegedly refusing to pay their son’s outstanding school fees, totalling almost R100 000.

It was stated in papers before the Pretoria High Court that the parents [who cannot be identified to protect their son] had not paid his school fees for the past three years.

The court was told that the father, a city businessman, who owned a property in an affluent suburb in the east of Pretoria and another in Mamelodi, refused to pay the school fees.

It is claimed that the father “in a very aggressive tone” accused the school and its lawyers of being racist and added that “the government should pay the school fees, not him”.

According to the court papers, he also threatened that he “will persist in enrolling his three children at the school and that he is not going to pay one cent towards their schooling”.

Judge Peter Mabuse ordered that the two properties registered in the name of the couple had to be sold on execution to recover the outstanding fees. He suspended the order on condition that the couple make monthly payments of R10 000 to the school, starting this month.

The chairman of the school’s governing body, Harry Todd, said the school was forced to turn to the court as the parents had not paid school fees for 2009, 2010 and 2011. This was in spite of the lower court earlier granting three judgments, ordering the parents to pay up.

A warrant was also issued to attach the couple’s assets so that they could be sold on execution if they did not pay.

The parents, after the first judgment, indicated that they would defend the action, but there were no opposing papers in the high court application.

The sheriff tried to serve the couple with the warrant, but he had no success. After the father’s outburst, the sheriff was told to sell the assets on execution.

The sheriff also had no success in this regard as he “could not find any assets”. The sheriff said that when he arrived at the premises, the father denied that the assets listed on the inventory were ever on the premises.

It was stated that the father was not being candid and truthful and that he was “attempting to mislead the [school] in such a manner as to prohibit it from collecting the outstanding money due to it”.

When the sheriff attempted to serve the warrant on the other properties belonging to the family, he “got the run-around”.

The family members who lived in the residences listed as belonging to the couple told the sheriff that the couple no longer lived there. They pointed the sheriff to other addresses, but the family could not be found there either.


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