‘Callous’ buyer must rehouse duo living in his flat
Pretoria businessperson told he needs to act in more humane manner to to man and his mother who lost their property.
A Pretoria businessperson who bought a flat out of an insolvent estate has been ordered by the High Court in Pretoria to find temporary accommodation for the previous owner and his elderly mother.
George Babatsikos turned to the court for relief after he, on the day before Easter weekend, was evicted from the Arcadia flat where he and his 85-year-old mother had been living for the past 18 years.
Babatsikos had bought the flat for cash, but fell into arrears with the levies and rates when his business failed.
The body corporate of the flats obtained a final sequestration order against him and the flat was sold on auction to Pretoria businessperson Sifiso Nkosi.
Nkosi and the trustee of Babatsikos’ insolvent estate in March this year obtained a magistrate’s court order for his eviction – despite Babatsikos’ plea for more time to find alternative accommodation.
Babatsikos was visiting his mother, who had been admitted to hospital with a fractured hip, when all of their possessions were dumped on the pavement and he was locked out of the flat.
He had to move to his church’s shelter, but could not stay there indefinitely and feared what would happen to his mother when she was released from hospital.
Babatsikos lodged an appeal against the eviction order with the help of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), but turned to the high court for an interdict when he was evicted despite his appeal, and Nkosi immediately put another tenant into the flat.
LHR contended they asked the magistrate to suspend the eviction as an appeal had been lodged.
Judge Margaret Victor agreed with LHR’s interpretation and ruled that the eviction had been unlawful.
She noted the “callous” manner in which Babatsikos and his mother were expelled and ordered Nkosi to find temporary alternative accommodation for them at his expense pending the finalisation of the appeal.
LHR said in a statement it was crucial that evictions should happen in a humane manner.