An intriguing tale of deceit, insufficient documents and alleged false arrest surfaced during a recent court case involving a resident of Tsalanang flats, Govan Mbeki Housing Company and the Sheriff of the Court.
During 2018 the Govan Mbeki Housing Company obtained a judgement against Mr Walter Ntshalintshali and started proceedings to have him evicted. This is after the Govan Mbeki Council withdrew their support for Govan Mbeki Housing Company (GMHC) in 2012. During a council meeting in 2012, council decided to revoke the agreement with GMHC that entitles GMHC to administer the GMM houses. Although this agreement was taken by the council, after the fact that the municipal houses were so rundown that they had to be sold. The council lost an estimated R10m on the value of the houses due to the poor maintenance by GMM, hence the decision to terminate the agreement with them. Despite these cancellations, GMHC continued to bill, administrate and “maintain” municipal buildings.
GMM does not have the capacity to maintain and administrate the buildings and outsourcing makes good sense but only if the income generated from the occupation of these houses stiffens the coffers of the municipality.
During the trial the Deputy Sheriff did not attend a court date and a warrant of arrest was issued. The warrant was withdrawn once the Sheriff settled the fine. He was found guilty of “Failure to appear in court” and given a fine of R500 or 50 days imprisonment.
The Magistrate had very harsh words for the Sheriff. According to the defence the Magistrate said: “I feel pity for ordinary people that face sheriffs of this nature.” It was found by the court that the form “RM32 Warrant of execution against property” was not properly filled in. It is also alleged that while the documents were not in order, the Deputy Sheriff tried to force the warrant on Mr Ntshalintshali. When Mr Ntshalintshali refused, he was threatened and ultimately arrested. Mr Ntshalintshali spent two days in jail for allegedly obstructing the Sheriff in his duties. He has since been cleared. He has now filed a claim against the Minister of Police for wrongful arrest.
Mr Ntshalintshali was cleared of any wrongdoing in this matter.
The Bulletin contacted the South African Board for Sheriffs to ask for clarification on the conduct of the Sheriff and the board’s policies.
After a discussion, The Bulletin was asked to supply the board with questions for the board to prepare proper answers.
The Bulletin agreed to the request as time constraints would not allow for meaningful answers.
The Bulletin hopes to bring you more news and insights on the Sheriffs in our area soon.
- Encee van Huyssteen