IN what could be a case of the house buyer from hell, a Port Elizabeth teacher has approached the High Court to help her evict controversial builder and property developer St Michael Pierre Kotze after he made an offer on her R2-million house, moved in and never paid a cent.
But Kotze, who has had similar legal tussles with property owners in Gordon’s Bay near Cape Town and Mtunzini on the Natal north coast, says he is a dedicated Christian and insists he would never do anything to harm people.
He said that even though he might have "made a mistake” when he bought MS Halbert’s house in December, he had done so in the belief that the municipality would pay him for work done as long ago as 2010.
However, municipal spokesman Kupido Baron said on Friday there was no record of money owing to Kotze or the company he used to buy the house, Zoloblox.
In two previous bouts of litigation, Kotze said, he was forced to oppose eviction proceedings to protect his financial interests.
Retired aircraft engineer Dave Cater has said in papers before court that Kotze had pushed him to the brink of financial ruin after making an offer on his buchu farm near Gordon’s Bay in 2005. Kotze moved into the house but never paid for the furniture sold to him by Cater, nor the property.
Years of litigation ensued. Kotze finally agreed to pay Cater R6.8-million or walk away. He never paid.
When he settled the litigation with Cater, Kotze said, he had already moved his family to KwaZulu-Natal, but had asked his brother JP Kotze to live on the farm and look after machinery he had left there.
An ugly eviction battle that ensued between JP and Cater was, he said, none of his doing.
After moving to Mtunzini, Kotze then bought the home of pharmacist Ettienne Vermaak.
He told Vermaak he was waiting for money, but agreed to pay a deposit and rent so that he could move in immediately.
Vermaak said Kotze did not pay rent. Kotze says he did. He said he wanted to cancel the sale as the house had structural problems.
Kotze then came to Port Elizabeth, found Halbert’s house on a website and offered to buy it.
Conveyancing attorneys Snymans Inc gave him the keys after misreading their trust account. He moved at the end of last year.
In January, Halbert cancelled the sale. Kotze threatened to report her to the Education Department for abusing her housing allowance but Halbert had obtained permission to rent her house pending the possible sale.
She has now applied for Kotze’s eviction. The case is set down to be heard in June.