Question posted in the General Law category relating to Limpopo
i Have sold my car privately and the buyer is not keeping to payment schedule. he has been given final notice or car will be scrapped and he still didi not comply. am i within my rights to now scrap the car?
See statement below for nore details:
I, Jan Adriaan van Emmenis, ID No: 6105035110080, hereby state that:
I am currently staying in Alldays, Limpopo. At the end of November 2021 my wife’s car, a Blue Mercedes A160, began having problems with starting the engine.
On Wednesday the first of December 2021, I contacted a local mechanic in Alldays to have a look at the vehicle and tell me what is wrong. The Mechanic, by name of Lavvas, attached his battery to the Mercedes and the vehicle started immediately the moment he disconnected the additional battery, the engine died. He informed me that the alternator is not functioning. I asked him if he could repair the car because I wanted to sell the vehicle. He then asked me how much I wanted for the vehicle, and I told him I wanted at least R20,000.00. He then told me that he wanted to buy the car from me, but he does not have the full R20,000.00. He said he could pay me R15000.00 and that he will pay the outstanding amount of R5000.00 before the 15th of December. We mutually agreed to this verbal contract. He asked if he could take the car to his workshop to see if he could fix the problem, and I agreed.
On Friday the 3rd of December, he paid R12000.00 into my account. He informed me that he will bring the other R3000.00 down payment to me the following day in cash – this never happened.
From the 3rd to the 15th December I enquired on numerous occasions regarding the payment of the outstanding balance, and he kept promising that it will be paid before the 15th of December.
During the first week of December my vehicle, a Chery Tiggo, also started having problems with the gearbox, it would not go into reverse or 5th gear. I asked the same mechanic to have a look for me at what could be wrong. He told me it was probably only linkages and he could fix that easily. He did have a look and fiddled for about 2 minutes with the linkages, but could not get it fixed. I then told him not to worry, I will take the Tiggo to Polokwane for repairs, which I did on the 3rd of December.
As I had no transport at this stage, I rented a vehicle from Polokwane airport for a week, until the Tiggo has been repaired. During this whole time, the Mercedes was with Lavvas, while he attempted to repair the alternator and the wiring. He used this vehicle on a daily basis by swapping the battery continuously.
On 16 December I went home to my house in Springs, Gauteng for a period of 2 weeks. Towards the end of December, I contacted Lavvas again to enquire about the outstanding amount of R8000. That was due on the 15th of December. He told me that he does not have enough money, but will pay in something. On the 30th of December, he made a payment of R3000.00 into my account.
On Wednesday the 12th of January 2022, I noticed the Mercedes standing at Savemore in Alldays with the windows open and the key hanging in the ignition. This concerned me as the vehicle is still in my wife’s name and the vehicle can easily be stolen by leaving it like that. I removed the keys from the ignition and gave it to my wife, and we waited in the parking area for Lavvas to return to the vehicle so that I can enquire again about the by now way overdue final outstanding amount of R5000.00. After a while, 2 strangers approached the Mercedes and started looking for the keys. I approached them and explained to them that my wife is the legal owner of the vehicle and that they must tell Lavvas to come and see me. After approximately 10 minutes Lavvas arrived and I explained to him my concerns and why I have taken the key. I informed him that he was in breach of contract regarding the payment arrangements, and that final payment was already one month overdue. He told me that he does not have the money to pay immediately. I then informed him that I will keep the keys of the vehicle until the vehicle has been paid in full. He made a big scene by shouting and screaming at me that it is his car and he wants the keys. I then went into the laundromat to collect my Laundry, when I returned to my vehicle, I noted that Lavvas was busy assaulting my wife next to the vehicle. I dropped my washing and rushed to her aid. I pulled Lavvas off my wife and we both then stumbled and fell. When I got up, Lavvas was busy walking away from us.
My wife told me that as soon as I entered the laundromat, Lavvas told her that we are white trash and he threatened her that he will come at night and take all our vehicles and that he will get her as well. He then opened my car door and grabbed the car keys from the ignition and the house keys from between the seats. He then leaned into the car and tried to take the Mercedes keys off my wife. She opened her door and exited the car in an attempt to get away from him. He ran around the car and tackled her to the ground, and tried again to take the keys from her. It was at this stage that I came to her rescue.
Lavvas then told me that he will not pay the outstanding money until he receives the registration papers. I explained to him that the registration certificate only gets handed over after final payment. His Nephew, Thabo, then approached me and said that he will pay the outstanding R5000.00 the following day if I can show him that I do have the registration certificate.
I went back to Savemore to ask if they can assist me in calling the police, as I did not have a phone with me at that time. I reported the incident to the police and asked them to respond.
The police arrived about 5 minutes later, I explained to them what happened, and they said that we all need to come to the police station with our vehicles. I explained to them again that I cannot do that as Lavvas has forcefully taken my car and house keys. They instructed Lavvas to return my keys to me and the instructed me to return my wife’s car (Mercedes) keys to Lavvas, which we did. We then all went to the police station.
At the police station, the police asked me to explain what happened. I then told them everything that I mentioned in this statemen, including our original arrangement with the sale of the vehicle. Lavvas confirmed in front of the police that our arrangement was that the vehicle will be paid in full by 15 December 2021. I also explained to the police that Thabo offered to pay the outstanding amount the next day and that is all that I asked from the beginning. Thabo confirmed this. The police then told us that as the issue will now be settled the next day, we should leave and do that.
We returned to our vehicles and all parties left. My wife asked me what are we going to do about the issue that she has been assaulted. I then returned to the police station and asked the police if I can lay an assault charge against Lavvas for assaulting my wife. They informed me that Lavvas said if we lay a charge, he will also lay a charge against us, as he also sustained some minor bruises when we fell after I pulled him off my wife. The police informed me that I can lay a charge, but then they will have to lock up myself, My Wife, and Lavvas. Upon hearing this, I decided not to lay a charge as I did not want my wife to be locked up for no reason, as she did not assault anybody, and in fact, she was the victim.
The next day I send a photo of the registration certificate to Thabo as he requested, and he replied that he will deposit the R5000.00 and let me know as soon as he has done so. This was on Thursday the 13th of January, and to date I have still not received anything from him. It became clear to me that both Lavvas and Thabo are lying all the time and that I cannot trust them.
I waited until Monday the 17th of January for payment, but did not receive any. I then send Lavvas a final notice that if the long overdue amount of R5000.00 is not paid into my account within seven days, I will scrap the car in order to get it off my wife’s name, as I cannot trust him to drive around in a vehicle that is still registered to my wife. He replied that it is my car and I can scrap it if I want, but I will owe him R27000. This was also a blatant lie as I do not owe him anything, he owes me. He also stated in the message that he is not interested in buying the car any longer. I replied to him that I do not owe him anything, and that not buying the car any longer is not an option, as I am not willing to re-negotiate any part of our deal with him, and that the final notice stands. I then blocked him on my WhatsApp as I had said my final piece and was not interested in hearing any more lies or threats from him.
I noted that on Friday the 21st of January he then paid in another R1500.00 into my account, which is still R3500 short of the outstanding amount as stipulated in the final notice.