Sheriff halts all auctions

By Hilary Mare

THE Deputy sheriff of the High Court in Windhoek has informed all legal representatives to suspend all auctions and sales in execution, noting that this would be the case until a new directive is officially announced.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the latest proclamations on Covid-19 published in Government Gazette 7204, published earlier this month.

“No auctions fixed or movable will be scheduled for the foreseen future in both the High Court and the Magistrate Court. Should there be any ease in circumstances you will be informed according,” the deputy sheriff said in a circular.

The new regulations in Government Gazette 7204 suspend the enforcement of provisions of certain laws and also deal with incidental matters arising from the suspension of the operation of such laws by President Hage Geingob, in line with Article 26(5)(b) of the Namibian Constitution.

The Gazette notes that the new regulations are reasonably justifiable measures for the purpose of combating, preventing and suppressing the spread of Covid-19, for the duration of the state of emergency.

Judiciary spokesperson and deputy director for public relations Ockert Jansen confirmed that sales and auctions would be halted until further notice. “This is, of course, owing to regulations on Covid-19, the element of social distancing and public gatherings. We will have to wait for the authorities to pronounce themselves on the lifting of this stay,” Jansen noted.

According to the some sections of the Gazette, any process of the court relating to any sale in execution, as may be identified by directive of the Chief Justice; and sale in execution contemplated in Part 11 of the Rules of the High Court, are suspended for the duration of the specified period.

It also stipulates that any sale in execution and the time periods specified in the Magistrates’ Courts Act of 1944 are suspended for the duration of the state of emergency, adding that any sale in execution and time periods specified in the Rules of Court are also suspended for the duration of the public health emergency.

Addressing the validity of actions taken prior to suspension of operation of provisions of certain laws, the Gazette explains that, “Despite anything to the contrary in any law, the suspension of the operation of the provisions of certain laws is deemed to have come into effect on 28 March of 2020.”

Further, “Any action taken prior to the suspension of operation of the provisions of certain laws in terms of these Regulations but after the date referred to … is validated and deemed to have been lawfully done.”

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