Le Roux v Zietsman and Another (HCA10/2020)  ZALMPPHC 79 (2 November 2021)
When the Zietsmans purchased a sprawling guesthouse, they were advised by the seller of one or two leaks in the roof which had been fixed. Three months later, they were rushing around trying to appease guests whose rooms were rendered uninhabitable after the first seasonal rains pooled in their rooms, wet the bedding and carpets and ruined their suitcases. An engineer’s report found a poorly constructed roof, coupled with evidence of various earlier efforts to fix leaks. The double-garage-sized sheeting that the seller had used to fix the small leak in the one room, pointed to the extent of the problems and to his prior knowledge thereof. Ten years later, after various court skirmishes, the seller was ordered to make good the damage suffered by the purchasers, including losses suffered when they could not accommodate guests. The judgment explains how a court approaches a claim based on latent defects.