WHICH WILL TRUMP: YOUR CONDUCT IN ASSUMING THE SALE DID NOT LAPSE, OR THE TIMEFRAMES FOR LAPSING STIPULATED IN THE CONTRACT?
Thokan v Kriegler and Another (40781/2018)  ZAGPJHC 680 (13 September 2022)
The background facts in this judgment tells the story of a seller and buyer who, without realizing that their agreement had lapsed (as the due date of the suspensive condition to obtain financing was not met), continued as if the agreement was in fact still extant. They thought that the estate agent had arranged for an extension, never checking that the agreement required the extension to be in writing and signed by all. Later when it became apparent that the agreement had lapsed, the seller sought to hold on to the buyer’s deposit, stating that the buyer (through misrepresentation or breach) should forfeit the deposit. How does a court deal with these defences, “estoppel through misrepresentation by the buyer” and “fictional fulfillment” of the suspensive condition that the seller argued for here?
VALID SALE CANCELLATION WHEN REQUIREMENT TO BUILD ON LAND NOT MET
City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality and Another v Pitse N.O. and Others (A5049/17;14138/16; 34564/14)  ZAGPJHC 682 (13 September 2022)
In the sale of land agreement under consideration here, the City of Johannesburg inserted a clause that the buyer must build on the property within a certain time after signature. Almost 15 years later and without registration of transfer, it became apparent that despite the buyer still being in possession of the property, the building works were never effected. The City wanted the land back and the buyer argued he could not build because he did not receive transfer. Did the time to comply start ticking from the date on which transfer was to be registered, or from date of signature?