Small Claims Court throws out quirky claim involving twice-stolen car

2015-06-30 15:50
Judge's gavel from Shutterstock

Judge's gavel from Shutterstock

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Cape Town - A quirky matter came before the Small Claims Court on Tuesday involving a stolen Citi Golf that was more worthy of a scrapheap than the road.

Claimant James Sampson had sold the crock to Fabian de Buys for R12 000 – but neither were aware that it was registered with the police as stolen.

To complicate matters, the already stolen car was stolen a second time while in De Buys’s possession.

The claim was lodged in the Bellville Small Claims Court, before Commissioner Christo Februarie.

 De Buys lamented: “The engine kept cutting out and caused me endless expense.

“It conked out again on June 26, while I was on my way to Sampson with the first payment.

“We fetched my mechanic, and on our return the car was missing – stolen.

“We reported the theft to the police, who said the car was already on their records as stolen.

“We had reached the point where we no longer wanted the car due to all its problems.”

Sampson denied the Golf was a stolen car.

“I merely changed the registration numbers around a bit, and the jumbled number on the car must have belonged to another car that was stolen.”

Sampson sensed victory – after all, De Buys could not unilaterally opt out of the contract.

The commissioner asked when the first instalment was due.

Sampson said no date had in fact been set. However, the first payment would have confirmed the transaction.

This swung the pendulum in De Buys’s favour.

The commissioner told a hapless Sampson: “This was a very flimsy agreement, and the fact that the first instalment was to confirm the transaction is crucial to the claim.

“The first instalment was in fact not paid, which means there was no transaction.

“The claim is dismissed,” he ruled.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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