THULI MADONSELA: The injustice of shady home auctions
The court judgment allowing a bank to sell a R470,000 house for just R40,000 is a grave misstep if we’re really serious about social justice
Hardly anyone seems to notice when I use Twitter to discuss social justice matters that don’t affect everyone. Tweets about my adorable granddaughter usually elicit far more interest than serious matters of social justice, particularly about the most marginalised. So I was pleasantly surprised by the support a few weeks ago, when I reacted on Twitter to a judgment about bank auctions of people’s properties, usually homes, without a reserve price, when they have defaulted on mortgage loans. I tweeted: "With due respect to the court, I consider this judgment to be grossly unfair and inequitable. It is a setback regarding social justice. Should the matter be taken on appeal, it would be great if those concerned about social justice join in as amicus curiae." More than 4,000 people agreed. The case involved a man who had failed to pay his bond after he lost his job. Having repossessed his house (valued at R470,000), the bank auctioned it for R40,000 — less than 10% of its value. The own...