Sheriff PE North

View Jurisdiction

Know the Sheriff

1Who is the Sheriff?
The Sheriff is an unbiased official of the Court performing a duty in the interests of justice to all parties. The Sheriff is willing to help with explaining the legal process and what you should do next but cannot give you legal advice.
2What does the Sheriff do?
Who is the Sherrif 2The Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff must serve or execute all documents issued by our courts. These include summonses, notices, warrants and court orders.
3Who regulates the Sheriff's actions?
The South African Board for Sheriffs monitors the service of Sheriffs and their Deputies, ensuring it is executed in a humane manner in terms of the Code of Conduct for Sheriffs. Sheriffs operate independently from each other - in fact, they are private business people.
4What type of cases involve the Sheriff?
The role of the Sheriff is required when there are civil judgements against people who have failed to pay their accounts, their rent or municipal services and maintenance. They also serve documents in divorce and family violence matters
5What area does the Sheriff cover?
Sheriffs are appointed to act within a specific magisterial district or an area within a district. Click on this link to view the coverage area: Jurisdiction
6How do you know if the person knocking on your door is really a Sheriff?
All Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs must carry a valid Identification Card issued by the South African Board for Sheriffs while on duty and must be able to produce it on request.
7What must you do if the Sheriff comes to your home or work?
  • Do not hide.
  • Trust the Sheriff as a representative of the court.
  • Ask for proof of identification.
  • Listen carefully to the Sheriff's instruction.
  • Be sure to understand what you must do next.
  • In some cases, you'll have five days to act, don't delay.
  • In some cases you can meet the requirements of the order immediately to stop all further proceedings.
  • Do not interfere with the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff from performing their duties.
  • Do not give false or misleading information.

Remember, the Sheriff acts under orders from the Court. If you do not follow the instructions, you may be liable for prosecution and further costs
8What right does the Sheriff have?
When executing duties with a legal court order the Sheriff can:

  • Enter your premises, even when you're not there
  • Open any door, vehicle or piece of furniture on your premises
  • Attach, remove and sell your vehicle, furniture and movable or immovable property.
9What rights do you have?
  • The Sheriff must treat you with dignity at all times
  • The Sheriff must explain the contents of the document and what you need to do next
  • The Sheriff may not attach and remove necessary items such as food and beds, beddings and clothes
There are also limitations on other things, such as tools of trade you may need to carry out your work, that may not be attached
10Important points to remember?
  • Only a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff may demand payment or attach goods or money in terms of a Warrant or Order of Court.
  • Debt collectors do not work under the authority of the court and are not allowed to attach or remove goods.
  • Always demand a receipt for any monies paid to the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff.
  • Make sure both the original and copies of documents are marked with any payment made and with your signature or mark.
  • Always keep a copy of the document as proof.
  • If the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff visited your home in your absence, follow up and try to find out what you need to do.
  • Do not ignore any documents, notes or messages left for you by the Sheriff.
  • It is to your advantage to take immediate action; additional visits only add to the costs incurred.
11What do you do if you have a complaint?
Sherrifs and their Deputies report to the South African Board of Sherrifs and must comply with various laws when performing their duties.

If you have a complaint, or if you are unsure of your rights, contact:
Excutive Manager
South African Board of Sherrifs
PO Box 545
Cape Town 8000
Tel: 021 462 3209 Fax: 021 462 2099

Auction FAQ’s

General Information and FAQs’ on Sales in Execution or Auctions
1May a sale in execution be cancelled or stopped?
Yes. An execution creditor or his/her attorney can stop a sale in execution or auction by written instructions but not by oral or telephonic instructions
2May the sheriff stop a sale without any instructions?
No. It would be irregular, even if the instructions were forthcoming from the execution creditor, unless in writing.
3What is the position of the sheriff where bidding had already commenced?
In a sale in execution without a reserve price, once an article has been put up for bidding, the bidder may not withdraw its bid.
4What if there are various lots or articles?
Each article or lot is auctioned off separately.
5Is a sale in execution an agreement?
Yes. The agreement of sale is concluded subject to a condition that if a higher bid is not made within a reasonable time, the sale shall be effective.
6When is the agreement concluded?
The knocking down or fall of the hammer is merely a declaration by the seller or auctioneer that the suspensive condition is fulfilled and the contract is complete.
7Are there rules for sales in execution or auctions?
Yes. The rules are the conditions of sale and will be available at the auction and announced prior to the commencement of the sale in execution. An auction is a form of competitive bargaining with the object of a contract of sale resulting and carried out in accordance with certain rules. The conditions of sale are so to speak the rules of the game and they bind all parties.
8Does the sheriff act as agent?
No. The sheriff is not an agent of anyone, but does so as an executive of the law.
9How can payment be effected at the sale in execution or auction?
In cash, bank guaranteed cheque or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
10Is there a facility to effect payment by EFT?
Yes. A computer with internet facility is available on the premises.
11Is VAT payable?
Yes. However the sheriff will announce it prior to the commencement of the sale in execution.
12Does the purchaser have to pay commission to the sheriff as auctioneer in sales in execution of movable property?
13Does the purchaser have to pay commission to the sheriff as auctioneer in sales in execution of immovable (fixed) property?
Yes. 6% on the first R30, 000.00 and 3.5% on the balance subject to a maximum of R10777.00 and a minimum of R542.00 excluding VAT