CANCELLING A SALE AGREEMENT: NOT AS EASY AS YOU MAY HAVE THOUGHT
Dolce Domus CC v Herholdt and Another (742/2021)  ZAECPEHC 5 (24 February 2022)
In this sale agreement, so many things went wrong! The seller’s feet turned cold after the sale and she sought to use the purchaser’s delay in furnishing a guarantee in respect of the purchase price, as a reason to cancel. Amidst the first lockdown and an apparent broken email server, the steps laid down in the sale agreement for the cancellation of the agreement were not complied with. Hence the agreement remained extant. It serves as a much needed reminder that once there is agreement on “how to” cancel that selfsame agreement, the parties thereto must heed the rules that they chose.
VAGUELY WORDED SUSPENSIVE CONDITION COULD SPELL DISASTER FOR ONE OR THE OTHER
Offerman and Another v Swanepoel and Another (6477/18P)  ZAKZPHC 4 (10 February 2022)
The buyer and seller in this matter both initially assumed that their agreement was subject to the requirement that the purchaser shall, within 30 days of occupation of the property, obtain bond approval. Subsequently, the bond approval was late and the seller lost her appetite for the sale: The poorly worded suspensive condition was then scrutinized in different ways by the parties. To the buyer’s relief, the Court determined that the agreement provided that the 30 day period only commenced running after the buyer had achieved sole occupation, which the seller could not prove was the case. The period in which bond approval had to be obtained had therefore not yet commenced running, 4 years after the agreement was signed! The outcome demonstrates how important it is to think twice when choosing the happening of an event (sole possession after the unlawful occupiers were evicted, in this instance) to be the trigger for the commencement for calculation of a due date in sale agreements.