Can A Registrar Of The High Court Grant A Default Judgment Where The National Credit Act Applies

In Gcasamba v Mercedez-Benz Financial Services [2022] 4526-2021 (FB) at [28]-[73], the court had to decide if a registrar had the authority to grant a judgment by default against Gcasamba who defaulted on his instalments due to Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Mercedes-Benz Financial Services financed the purchase of a 2014 Mercedes Benz E200. They sued Gcasamba for the arrears. He never received the summons as he changed addresses. When he failed to defend the summons, the company applied for judgment, which the registrar granted. As a result, the sheriff repossessed the vehicle that Gcasamba had bought.

As a result, he applied to the court to rescind the judgment. The court found that it is not competent for the Registrar of the High Court to grant default judgments in matters to which the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 applies. It ordered that the vehicle be immediately returned to him.

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