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Letters to De Rebus

In the first letter - JAA shares conveyancers' concerns - to De Rebus Sophia de Klerk, chairperson of the property law sub-committee of the Johannesburg Attorneys Association (JAA) writes that the JAA is working on behalf of its members with the Johannesburg Municipality's Revenue Department. Confrontation benefits nobody, however members must be assured that the JAA will not allow the municipality to dictate to it or to enforce legislation that appears to be unconstitutional.

In the second letter - Law provides for sale of previously attached property - George Tsoteti, Deputy Registrar of Deeds in Pretoria responds to a September letter by AV Theron in which he, after quoting the Registrar of Deeds as follows:
"1. In the case of more than one attachment noted against the property, the creditor who takes action and sells the property is entitled to demand transfer without withdrawal of the other attachments;
2. This ruling was already confirmed in 1958 (Registrars' Conference Resolution 5/1958)".
proceeds to make the following statement:
"This ruling seems crazy. What on earth is the purpose of an attachment if a later creditor can sell despite a previous creditor's valid claim? In this particular case the bank was no doubt a preferent creditor which sued on the bond. But what if this had not been so?"

The Deputy Registrar finds that the Registrar of Deeds has no legal basis to give effect to a sale ordered by a court of law. He then states categorically that :
" ... the effect of noting an attachment interdict in a deeds registry is to debar dealings by the registered owner of the property concerned. Once a sheriff passes transfer, it is not for the deeds registry to question at whose instance the transfer is being passed. All that the deeds registry has to do is to ensure that the sheriff and not the registered owner passes transfer. The practice is to purge all attachments and bonds noted against the relevant property as they are inextricably linked to the former registered owner."

De Rebus

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