Auction Alliance battles on
Auction Alliance might have won a legal battle against the National Consumer Commissioner in the Cape High Court, but its fight against the Estate Agency Affairs Board rages on.
The company, which has been accused of using ghost bidders to inflate auction prices, applied to the high court to stop the board from conducting an investigation into its affairs.
In March, the board's investigators were turned away when they tried to search the company's premises.
Auction Alliance argued that they did not have search warrants. It also contended that the investigators' reliance on the Estate Agency Affairs and the Financial Intelligence Centre acts to conduct their search was unconstitutional. The board then brought a counter application to apply for a search warrant.
Yesterday, Judge Willem Louw found that the application for a warrant "is in itself a constitutional issue".
He found the application for a warrant should be postponed and heard together with Auction Alliance's main application challenging the constitutionality of the provisions of the two acts to conduct searches.
On Monday, the c ourt set aside summonses issued by the National Consumer Commissioner compelling Auction Alliance's bosses to appear before the commission.