Consumer Commission issued “nonsensical” Auction Alliance notice

The compliance notice issued by the National Consumer Commission (NCC) on Auction Alliance (AA) following the alleged auction rigging scandal involving Quion Rock wine estate was “nonsensical” and “fatally defective”.

This is according to the judgement released by the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) on Tuesday following its decision last month to set-aside the notice.

In addition to rejecting the logic and applicability of the judgement, the NCT has also pointed out bias in the manner in which the NCC dealt with its investigations and has raised a number of procedural concerns relating to the issuance of the judgements.

According to the NCT’s judgment the liquidators involved in the sale of the Quion Rock wine estate had been erroneously included in the compliance notice as no investigation was held by the NCC into their conduct as required by the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

Once the liquidators had been removed from the notice “the remainder of the compliance notice is meaningless”, the NCT said.

The NCC’s notice had ordered AA to “ensure that the auction of 10 December 2010 (meant to read December 2011) is nullified for failure to comply with the Act and the regulations made in terms thereof”.

However, according to the tribunal, as an auction takes place on a single day it was “not capable of being nullified…”

“It would therefore be nonsensical to require of AA to nullify the auction”.

The compliance notice is “fatally defective” and must be cancelled, according to the judgement.

Bias in the NCC’s investigations relates to a media statement released by the NCC prior to the issuance of the compliance notice and to the fact that the NCC had  issued the notice prior to hearing testimonies from AA EX-CEO, Rael Levitt.


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