The sale by public auction of a vacant site in Bo-kaap, the site of the oldest Muslim cemetery in South Africa, has been cancelled by the Claremart Auction Group who were instructed by the current title holders to go to auction.
After it came to the attention of the auctioneers, through a media release, that the land being sold was under dispute with the community, the auction group took the decision to cancel the sale.
“We cannot proceed to auction property whose ownership is under dispute” said General Executive Director Andrew Koch, “and we feel the responsible thing is to cancel the auction which we have done”.
He also indicated he had discussed the matter with the sellers, a group of heirs from the community, and advised them to re-engage with the community regarding the historical and religious significance of the land and its ownership.
“Claremart were instructed by the group of heirs, the current legal title holders, to proceed to auction, but were not aware of the ongoing dispute regarding the future of the land, being a part of the cemetery and of significance to the community. Once we became aware of this, despite the fact that we were properly mandated, we immediately engaged the community directly.”
Koch said they had contacted Mr. Igshaan Higgins, who represents the Bo-Kaap Youth led by Adnaan Osman, a strong civic organisation focused on the heritage and future of the area, and informed them of the intention to cancel the auction, which was welcomed by the organisation, as it has been by the community.
“As an auction firm with a longstanding relationship with the Muslim community of Cape Town in particular, we feel it is the correct way forward and this will allow the conversation regarding the dispute surrounding the land to be taken further within the community which we believe is the best way forward for all concerned, working on the elevated attention the issue has now received from the recent press coverage and auction marketing, which has now been stopped”.
We trust the current registered owners and the community will reach a better situation going forward and one which benefits the wider community as a whole.
We would like to take the opportunity to wish all our Muslim clients, readers and friends who will be celebrating, an EID MUBARAK.
Press release from Claremart Auction Group - June 2018