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Petersen v Van Wieling and Others (A94/2019) [2019] ZAWCHC 70

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Petersen v Van Wieling and Others (A94/2019) [2019] ZAWCHC 70

21st June 2019

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[1] This an appeal against the order of the Knysna District Court handed down on 20 March 2018 dismissing the application to that court by the appellant in terms of s 4 of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (“PIE”) for the eviction of the first to seventh respondents (“the respondents”) from the immovable property situated at […] S Drive, New Horizon, Plettenberg Bay, also known as Erf […]8, Plettenberg Bay (“the property”). 

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[2] The appeal was noted timeously, but the appellant thereafter failed to prosecute it within the 60 day period prescribed by rule 50(1) of the Uniform Rules of Court.  That period expired on 17 July 2018, whereupon the appeal lapsed. The appellant therefore applied at the outset for condonation of her failure to timeously prosecute the appeal, together with an order reinstating the appeal.

[3] In his affidavit filed in support of the condonation application the appellant’s attorney, Mr Charles Petherbridge of Legal Aid, provided a full explanation for the delay which covered its entire period. In essence, he explained that it was occasioned by various administrative challenges faced by the Legal Aid Board, including the procurement of services for the acquisition of the appeal record.

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[4] We were persuaded that the explanation provided was reasonable and that the steps taken on behalf of the appellant showed that she always intended to appeal. Moreover, and for the reasons contained in this judgment, it was in the interests of justice that the appeal be entertained. Condonation was therefore granted and the appeal reinstated.

[5] There was no appearance by or on behalf of the respondents at the hearing of the appeal.

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