DON’T ASSUME THAT A LATER CONTRACT OVERRIDES A PRIOR ONE
Laynes v Coco Haven 1100 CC and Another (25220/2013)  ZAGPJHC 30
(10 March 2014)
The seller and purchaser in this judgment concluded two sale agreements for a property on virtually the same terms, shortly after one another. The second agreement was cancelled by agreement and, assuming the first agreement remained extant, the purchaser sought transfer. The seller however assumed the first agreement was cancelled by the second and as a result, sold the property to a third party. The Court’s investigation of the matter showed that there was no valid cancellation of the first agreement and that it remained in force. It is a warning call to obtain legal assistance when variations or cancellations of agreements are required, so as to ensure that the intention of parties are at all times reflected in the written record of negotiations.
SUSPENSIVE CONDITION NON-COMPLIANCE SINKS ANOTHER AGREEMENT
Royal Anthem Investments 129 (Pty) Ltd v Lau (941/2012)  ZASCA 19
(26 March 2014)
The judgment rings the tune of the song of the rock band, Queen, titled ‘Another one bites the dust’ in one’s ears! Rightly so, as there is a continuous stream of judgments confirming the lapsing of sale agreements where the provisions of the suspensive condition were not met timeously and as stipulated. The facts in the present matter are no different: despite obtaining the bond approval after the stipulated due date, the seller and purchaser both continued with the agreement, impervious to the consequences. When one wanted out though, which so easily happens in property transactions, the non-compliance opened the door to do so.