12 Things You Should Know About Arms Maker Ivor Ichikowitz
He lost a lawsuit against an auctioneer
Ichikowitz lost a three-year legal battle with High Street Auctions, which he sued for faking bids to inflate the price of a property he was buying. Ichikowitz bought Thaba Phuti, a lodge and game farm near Rustenburg, for 20 million rand in 2011. A video of the auction appears to show auctioneer Joff van Reenen pretending to take bids from nonexistent buyers to push up the price. The auctioneer did not specifically say before each bid that they were being placed on behalf of the farm’s seller — a process known as “vendor bidding” that is legal in South Africa.
Ichikowitz asked the auctioneer for his 10 percent commission back, and for the sale to be annulled.
The South African Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in March that High Street had been clear enough, and that Ichikowitz had “only himself to blame for ignorance of the possibility of vendor bidding by the auctioneer.”