Office of the Chief Justice warns against fraudulent eviction orders
Roxanne Henderson | 2017-02-02 17:02:49.0
Image by: iStock
Fraudulent eviction orders being used to “hijack” homes in Rosettenville has concerned the Office of the Chief Justice.
Last week reports surfaced in which residents of the suburb‚ south of Johannesburg‚ said they were evicted from their homes illegally by a syndicate.
The New Age reported one case in which Melody Nyembezi resisted an eviction from the house she has been living in since 1994‚ while working for the owner‚ Gavin Woodgett‚ as a domestic worker.
The eviction was carried out after the house was allegedly sold‚ but Woodgett‚ who no longer lives there‚ told the newspaper it was never sold.
The Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ) said that the use of fraudulent court orders extended beyond eviction orders.
“When confronted with an alleged court order‚ members of the public are urged always to verify its authenticity with the court from which it is allegedly issued‚” it said in a statement.
If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a court order‚ you may seek clarity from the Chief Registrar of the relevant court.
The OCJ also gave a number of tips to help identify the fake from the real‚ saying it was looking at options for strengthening the security of court orders.
An authentic court order should have the following:
1. The emblem of the office of the Chief Justice at the top‚ while older orders will have the Coat of Arms on it.
2. The division which issued the order. For example‚ “In the High Court of South Africa‚ North West Division‚ Mafikeng”.
3. The date on which it was issued and the name of the judge which signed it.
4. The names of the Plaintiff and Defendant.
5. It will state the order given.
6. The date stamp of the court will be affixed.
7. The order will be signed by the Registrar.
8. The court seal will be affixed to the order.
The OCJ said a court order found to be fraudulent must be reported to the court’s Registrar and the police as it is a criminal offence.