Farmer battles to hang onto bargain buy

Posted On Tuesday, 09 December 2008 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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A Bathurst farmer is battling a bank over the sale of valuable property he scooped up for a bargain at an auction sale from under the bank’s nose.


Property-Housing-ResidentialThe farmer, Glenn McCreath, is asking the Grahamstown High Court to declare valid the sale of the Port Alfred property worth almost R300000 and for which he made a winning bid of only R50000 at a sale in execution.

But, according to the creditor in the sale of execution, Nedbank, which subsequently cancelled the sale, the only reason McCreath scooped the property for such a low price was due to a “mistake” by the attorney representing them, Grant Marais.

Port Alfred attorneys, Neave Stotter Inc, were advised that the nett reserve price for the property was R296407.

Marais duly attended the sale on behalf of Nedbank under the mistaken impression the sale in execution would be subject to the stipulated reserve price.

He said he “erroneously assumed” he could simply advise the auctioneer, town sheriff Marthinus Wolmarans, that if no acceptable bid were achieved, no sale should be concluded.

But in terms of the rules pertaining to sales of execution, there can be no reserve price.

Marais said he had been distracted and had not paid attention to the conditions being read out.

He had tried to tell Wolmarans there could be no sale at R50000, but the auctioneer had told him the sale must go to the highest bidder in terms of the rules.

Wolmarans had duly “knocked the property down” to McCreath at R50000 .

Marais tried in vain to persuade Wolmarans to reopen the sale so that he could bid.

But McCreath maintains that Wolmarans’ “ignorance” or mistaken interpretation of his instructions did not constitute an error in the execution of the court rules.

“Indeed, the sale took place precisely in terms of the court rules.”

Judge Elna Revelas reserved judgment.

Advocate Torquil Paterson, instructed by Mark Nettelton, appeared for McCreath and Advocate Ben Ford, instructed by Neville Borman and Botha, appeared for Nedbank.

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 15:59

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