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The Department of Public Works ("the Department") decided to
The Department of Public Works (?the Department?) decided to commission the construction of a
research laboratory at the Winnie Mandela Memorial Hospital in November 2013. A building company
? SA?BUILD ? was tasked with the construction of the laboratory. In January 2014, SA?BUILD moved onto
the site and commenced work on the building.
For all electrical work involved in the building of the laboratory, including the installation of very
expensive equipment, SA?BUILD subcontracted WIRE?AND?ALL? a specialised electrical installation
company. In March 2014 WIRE?AND?ALL then entered into a contract of purchase and sale with MEDTEX
for the purchase of various pieces of research equipment to the value of R2 000 000 (two million Rand).
In terms of the agreement, WIRE?AND?ALL was to pay the purchase price in four instalments of R500
000, over the next two years, and the transfer of ownership of the research equipment was reserved
until the full purchase price was paid. MEDTEX delivered the research equipment to the laboratory
construction site where it was kept under lock and key in a storeroom.
In January 2016, the Department took the decision rather to install the research equipment at the
Medical Research Council laboratory as it needed equipment urgently for the research programme it
was engaged in. The Department immediately notified SA?BUILD of its decision and told SA?BUILD to
?await further instructions? regarding the equipment.
In April of this year, representatives of MEDTEX arrived at the laboratory construction site with a truck
and told SA?BUILD that they had come to collect the equipment to take it to the Medical Research
Council. SA?BUILD duly complied with their request and the equipment was removed from the
construction site. However, MEDTEX did not take the research equipment to the Medical Research
Council as promised, but rather they took it back to the MEDTEX warehouse. MEDTEX then wrote to
WIRE?AND?ALL and SA?BUILD, stating that WIRE?AND?ALL has only paid one instalment of R500 000 and
therefore MEDTEX was entitled to recover the equipment as it was still the rightful owner thereof.
1. In September of this year SA?BUILD approaches you for advice. SA?BUILD wants to have the
research equipment returned to the Winnie Mandela Memorial Hospital. Advise SA?BUILD of the
requirements for a suitable remedy and whether they have been satisfied. You must include
suitable cases in your answer.
2.Advise SA?BUILD of all the defences (inadmissible and admissible) that are available against the
remedy in e), and advise SA?BUILD of what defences might be successful in this scenario. You must
use suitable cases in your answer.
This question was answered on: Feb 21, 2020
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