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October 11, 2004

Sale in execution must be 'justifiable' - ConCourt

Courts will in future be called on to determine whether the sale in execution of houses to settle debt is justifiable, the Constitutional Court ruled on Friday. It was considering the constitutionality of sections of the Magistrates’ Court Act dealing with the sale in execution of property to settle debt. According to a report on the Finance24 site, the case involved two women from a poverty-stricken community in Prince Albert in the Karoo. Their houses were sold at much less than market value to settle a small debt they owed. The court found that any measure which takes away a person's pre-existing access to adequate housing limits the constitutional right to housing. The process of execution against property was found to be unconstitutional where it allowed a person's home to be sold to settle a debt in unjustifiable circumstances. This should be remedied by ensuring courts have oversight of the execution process.
Full report on the Finance24 site

 

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