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25 De Jure 409 (1992)
Snatching a Bargain - An Analysis

handle is hein.journals/dejur25 and id is 419 raw text is: 




Snatching a bargain - an analysis

P Fevrier-Breed
BA LLB
Senior Lecturer in Private Law at the University of the North



                                OPSOMMING
                Die Opraap van 'n Winskoop - 'n Ontleding
   Die opraap van 'n winskoop word in verskeie beslissings aangaande dwaling
   by kontrak en deur sommige outeurs oor hierdie onderwerp, vermeld. Die
   opraap van 'n winskoop geskied wanneer 'n party 'n wilsverklaring (aanbod
   of aanname) maak, terwyl hy bewus is, of redelikerwys bewus behoort te wees,
   van die ander party tot die beoogde kontrak se dwaling - meer spesifiek is
   daar 'n dwaling deur een van die partye met betrekking tot die (mark)waarde
   van 'n prestasie waarop die ooreenkoms gerig is. Die nietigheid of vernietig-
   baarheid van 'n ooreenkoms in die Suid-Afrikaanse reg in hierdie omstandighede
   word kortliks ontleed.

 1 Introduction

 1 1 Introductory Remarks
 Snatching a bargain has been mentioned in various South African court cases
 dealing with mistake and by some authors writing on this topic.' An
 analysis of the possible legal effects of snatching a bargain in various cir-
 cumstances, is therefore, desirable.
 Snatching a bargain occurs when the second party to a proposed agreement
 communicates his intention (offer or acceptance) to the first party, while the
 latter is aware, actually or by inference,2 that the first party is mistaken with
 regard to the economic value or price of the performance.3 These instances
 are for the greater part concerned with mistakes which affect the purchase
 price in a contract of sale, but this type of mistake might also occur in other
 categories of agreements.
 Although it is conceded that the snatching of a bargain is without an
 independent technical meaning in law,4 it is submitted that these instances


 I Cf Roberts Wessels' Law of Contract in South Africa (1951) par 975 303; Sherry v Moss 1952
   WLD (cited by Kahn, Lewis and Visser Contract and Mercantile Law A Source Book By Ellison
   Kahn (1988) 300); Hahlo and Kahn The Union of South Africa The Development of Its Laws
   and Constitution (1960) 455; Diedericks v Minister of Lands 1964 1 SA 49 (N) 54; Hunt Mistake
   in the Formation of contract: The Case of the Careless Clerk 1964 SALJ 153 157; Van
   Rensburg, Lotz and Van Rijhn LAWSA (ed Joubert) 5 (1978) par 127; Papadopoulos v Trans-
   State Properties & Investments Ltd 1979 1 SA 682 (W) 689; Slavin's Packaging Ltd v Anglo
   African Shipping Co Ltd 1989 1 SA 337 (W) 342J et seq; Van der Merwe and Van Huysteen
   Misverstand en Wangedrag: Beskerming van Kontrakspartye 1989 THRHR 555.
 2 In Slavin's Packaging Ltd v Anglo African Shipping Co Ltd 1989 1 SA 337 (W) 343D the court
   warns that care should be taken in distinguishing between inference and conjecture or specu-
   lation; in Hartog v Colin and Shields 1939 3 All ER 566 (KB) it was held that the plaintiff
   must have known (by inference from the facts) of defendant's mistake in offering the
   skins at a price per pound weight.
 3 Cf authorities in n 1.
 4 Cf Van der Merwe and Van Huysteen 1989 THRHR 558.

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