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Wanneer word ’n eggenoot wat geregtig is om ’n halwe aandeel in onroerende goed te ontvang, die eienaar van daardie halwe aandeel? Word die halwe aandeel van onroerende goed met die toekenning van ’n egskeidingsbevel dadelik toegestaan, of verkry ’n eggenoot ’n persoonlike reg om formele oordrag in die aktesregister te eis op grond van die egskeidingsbevel? Hierdie vrae is beslis in ’n uitspraak van Fischer v Ubomi: Ushishi Trading BK en ander 2019 (2) SA 117 (HHA) (“Fischer”).

In Fischer het die appellant die eerste respondent gedagvaar vir betaling van R566 500, gebaseer op ’n skulderkenning deur die eerste respondent en ’n borgooreenkoms gesluit deur die tweede respondent vir sy skuld. Die tweede en derde respondent was die geregistreerde eienaars van die onroerende eiendom. Hulle huwelik binne gemeenskap van goed is deur ’n egskeiding ontbind. Ingevolge ’n skikkingsooreenkoms wat in ’n egskeidingsbevel opgeneem is, het die tweede respondent afstand gedoen van sy regte, titel en belang in die eiendom ten gunste van die derde respondent.

Die tweede en derde respondente het in April 2014 weer getrou, buite gemeenskap van goedere met die uitsluiting van die aanwasstelsel. Hulle het daarna in 2015 weer geskei, en ingevolge die tweede egskeidingsbevel sou die partye hul onderskeie besittings behou.

Hooggeregshof (COURT A QUO)

Die appèllant het by die hof aansoek gedoen vir ’n bevel wat die tweede respondent se halwe aandeel in die eiendom uitvoerbaar verklaar. Die derde respondent het die verweer geopper dat sy die volle eienaarskap van die eiendom het. Die hof het beslis dat by die verlening van die egskeidingsbevel, dominium van die eiendom met onmiddellike effek by die derde respondent berus.

In sy uitspraak het die hof twee sake oorweeg: Corporate Liquidators (Edms) Bpk en Ander v Wiggill en ander 2007 (2) SA 520 (T) (“Corporate Liquidators”) en Middleton v Middleton en ’n Ander 2010 (1) SA 179 (D) (“Middleton”). In Corporate Liquidators is bevind dat waar partye ’n skikkings-ooreenkoms aangaan oor die verdeling van hul bates, wat ’n hofbevel word, die eiendomsreg van die onroerende goed dadelik oorgedra word. In Middleton het die hof bevind dat ’n skikkings-ooreenkoms slegs ’n persoonlike reg tot oordrag van eiendomsreg skep, aangesien die egskeidingsbevel nie eienaarskap kan toestaan sonder oordrag of aflewering nie. Die hooggeregshof het dus die beslissing van Corporate Liquidators gevolg en die aansoek van die hand gewys.

Hoogste Hof van Appèl (HHA)

Die HHA het artikel 16 van die Registrasie van Aktes Wet as ’n beginpunt beskou om te besluit of eienaarskap van eiendom dadelik toegestaan word met ’n egskeiding.. Artikel 16 van hierdie wet bepaal:

“Hoe saaklike regte oorgedra word

Tensy anders bepaal in hierdie wet of in enige ander wet, kan die eienaarskap van grond slegs van die een persoon na die ander oorgedra word deur middel van ’n akte van oordrag wat deur die registrateur uitgevoer of gewaarmerk is, en ander saaklike regte van grond kan slegs van die een persoon na die ander oorgedra word deur middel van ’n akte van cessie wat deur ’n notaris gewaarmerk is en deur die registrateur geregistreer word…”

Die HHA het bevind dat die hof a quo fouteer het deur te bevind dat die eiendomsreg onmiddellik met die toekenning van ’n egskeidingsbevel oorgedra word. Dit het bevind dat die derde respondent se verkryging van die eiendom van afgeleide aard was, dit wil sê, deur ’n skikkingsooreenkoms wat die derde respondent die persoonlike reg gee om registrasie van die tweede respondent se halwe aandeel in die eiendom af te dwing.

Diensooreenkomstig is die skikkingsooreenkoms, soos bepaal deur die hofbevel, bindend vir die voormalige eienaar en die party wat die eiendom verkry, maar dit dra nie outomaties die eiendomsreg van die halwe aandeel aan die party wat die eiendom verkry oor nie. Die hof het egter bevind dat op die tydstip waarop die egskeidingsbevel toegestaan is, was daar geen ander groter of mededingende reg om die eis van die eggenoot wat die eiendom bekom het, te dwarsboom nie. Toe die appèllant die tweede respondent se halwe aandeel in die eiendom wou verkry het, was dit reeds aan die derde respondent oorgedra. Die eis van die appèllant is dus voorafgegaan deur die persoonlike reg van die derde respondent. Die appèl is dus van die hand gewys.

Gevolgtrekking

Hierdie saak het beslis dat die oordrag van eiendom, wat in terme van ’n egskeidingsbevel bekom is, nie dadelik na die eggenoot wat dit bekom het, oorgedra word nie. Vir die eiendomsreg van die eiendom om oorgedra te word, is dit ’n vereiste dat die titelakte deur die Registrateur van Aktes geëndosseer word. As sodanige endossement nie plaasgevind het nie, mag ’n skuldeiser ’n bevel aanvra wat die voormalige eienaar se halwe aandeel in die eiendom as uitvoerbaar verklaar. Die enigste verweer wat beskikbaar is vir die gade wat die eiendom verkry, sou wees om te bewys dat die persoonlike reg op individuele volle eienaarskap van die eiendom die skuldeiser se eis voorafgegaan het.

Bronne:

– Fischer v Ubomi: Ushishi Trading CC and others 2019 (2) SA 117 (SCA).

– L. Lobola ‘When does a Real Right to a half-share of Immovable Property vest in a spouse?’ July 2019.

Alhoewel elke redelike poging aangewend word om die akkuraatheid en betroubaarheid van die inhoud van hierdie publikasie te verseker, sal nóg die skrywers van die artikels nóg die uitgewer enige verantwoordelikheid dra vir die gevolge van enige aksies gebaseer op inligting of aanbevelings hierin vervat. Ons materiaal is vir inligtingsdoeleindes.

Jan Fourie

Director |  Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Jan graduated in 1974 with a five-year BA LLB degree from the University of Stellenbosch, whereafter he was admitted as an advocate and prosecuted as such in the Cape Town and Wynberg Courts. In 1974, he joined Swemmer & Levin as the Candidate Attorney of Mr Levin (founding member) and was admitted as an attorney on 7 April 1976, as a conveyancer on 11 January 1978, and as a Notary on 19 December 1984. Since 1974, he has served in various committees, including the West Coast Chamber of Commerce, the Vredenburg School Committee, and the Malgas Lions Club. 

Furthermore, Jan was the author of the first bilingual law book, The New Debt Collecting Procedures (Die Nuwe Skuldinvorderingsprosedures), which was used by all the Magistrate Courts throughout South Africa. With the founding of the Small Claims Court in Vredenburg, Jan served as one of the first Commissioners. He is currently based at Swemmer & Levin’s Vredenburg office and has been with our firm for more than 47 years.

Pieter Smit

Director | Attorney & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Pieter obtained his BA Law degree from Stellenbosch University in 1995 and his LLB degree from the North-West University in Potchefstroom in 1998. He served his articles at Marais Muller Attorneys from 1998 to 1999 and was admitted as an attorney in 2000 and as a conveyancer in 2002. Pieter is the founder of PP Smit Attorneys, which opened its doors in 2004. He also became a director of Swemmer & Levin in 2006. Pieter loves the outdoors and participating in all forms of sport, including tennis, golf, fishing, spearfishing, scuba diving, and hiking. 

Johann Maree

Director | Attorney | BA. LLB

Johann matriculated at Oudtshoorn High School and attended Stellenbosch University, where he obtained his BA Law and LLB degrees. Following his studies, he worked for three years as State Prosecutor at the Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town. Johann completed his legal training with the State Attorney in Pretoria and then moved to his hometown, Oudtshoorn, where he worked as a lawyer for a year. In 1983, he finally moved to Vredenburg and joined Swemmer & Levin, where he is still practising as a director. When he is not in the office, Johann enjoys cycling and in his earlier days, he used to be a long-distance junkie.

Richard Phillips

Director | Attorney | Bcom & BProc

After matriculating at Paarl Boys’ High School, Richard completed his BCom and BProc degrees at the University of Port Elizabeth. He served his articles with Van Wyk Fouchee in Paarl and quickly developed an affinity for litigation. Richard has always had a deep love for the ocean and when he was presented with an opportunity to join Swemmer & Levin on the West Coast, he agreed without hesitation and has been with our firm since 1997. Richard specialises in general litigation and divorces. When he is not in the office or with his family, he tries to spend as much time as possible in or on the water.

Jandré Smith

Director | Attorney | LLB

Jandré grew up and matriculated in the small Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. He furthered his studies at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, obtaining his LLB degree during 2015. He completed his articles at Swemmer & Levin in 2017 and was subsequently appointed as a professional assistant. In 2020, Jandré was promoted to the position of director at the firm, where he practises in the Litigation department at our Langebaan office. When not practising law, Jandré is an avid sports fan. He has a passion for nature and enjoys camping, trail running, and mountain biking with his family.

Andre van der Walt

Director | Attorney | LLB

Andre graduated in 2015 with an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria. He later went on to obtain his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates from the University of South Africa, which allowed him to further his career in deceased estates and the drafting of wills and trusts. Andre served his articles at Barnard & Patel Attorneys under the supervision of Mr YAS Patel. After being admitted as an attorney in 2016, he continued working at Barnard & Patel Attorneys as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department.

Andre joined Van Rensburg Attorneys in 2019 and was head of the deceased estates department until 2021. He then received the opportunity to move to the West Coast, where he joined Swemmer & Levin Attorneys. Andre loves travelling and enjoys the beauty that our country has to offer with his friends, family, and loved ones.

Harmann Potgieter

Attorney | LLB

Harmann graduated in 2018 with an LLB degree from the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus. He went on to study and grow in various fields, including doing a course on the Consumer Protection Act and a course at the University of South Africa where he obtained his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates.

Harmann completed his articles of clerkship at Swemmer & Levin under the supervision of Mr Richard Phillips. After being admitted as an attorney in 2020, Harmann continued with Swemmer & Levin as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department as well as the litigation department. He loves to study, possesses a deep curiosity about the world, and is dedicated to giving back to the community.

Carla Cloete

Attorney, Conveyancer & Notary | LLB

Carla obtained her LLB at the North West University, Potchefstroom Campus in 2015. She completed her articles in 2017 with Brits Dreyer Inc in Bellville. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer. After her articles she relocated to Kimberley where she worked as a professional assistant in the Conveyancing department of Van de Wall Inc. Coming back to her Western Cape roots, she now joins the Swemmer & Levin team as a professional assistant.