Summaries of Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Judgments: March 2022
Updated: Apr 11
Sekoko Mametja Incorporated Attorneys v Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality (60/2021)  ZASCA 28 (18 March 2022)
Local government – Tender – Review – Legality – Tender set aside as unlawful – Discretionary remedy under Constitution, s 172(1)(b) – Services rendered to respondent prior to successful legality review – Money award to appellant appropriate.
TMT Services & Supplies (Pty) Ltd t/a Traffic Management Technologies v MEC: Department of Transport, Province of KwaZulu-Natal and Others (1059/2020)  ZASCA 27 (15 March 2022)
Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA) – Jurisdiction of courts to review administrative action – Definition of ‘court’ in s 1 of PAJA determines exclusively which courts have jurisdiction – Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013, s 21(1) does not apply.
Abdullah v S (134/2021)  ZASCA 33 (31 March 2022)
Caution applied to single witness evidence – Whether state witness’ identification was reliable and credible – Whether appellant’s right to a fair trial was infringed by high court’s refusal to recall state witness after inspection in loco was completed – Appeal dismissed.
Ayres and Another v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Another (CCT 47/21)  ZACC 12 (25 March 2022)
Application for leave to appeal directly to Constitutional Court against High Court judgment and order dismissing applicants’ challenge to constitutional validity of Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992, s 63 – Foundational values – Rule of law – Doctrine of precedent – Although High Court was wrong in concluding that s 63 was constitutional, it did not issue declarator in this regard – Settled law that appeal lies against court order and not against reasons underpinning order – Leave to appeal on merits refused.
Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/12media.pdf.
Alberts and Others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services (404/2021)  ZASCA 25 (9 March 2022)
Summons – Multiple plaintiffs – Special plea of misjoinder – Test whether issues of fact and law substantially same for each plaintiff – Issues of fact and law substantially same – Convenience and absence of prejudice – Permissible to join in single action – Appeal upheld and special plea dismissed.
Baloyi NO and Others v Pawn Stars CC and Another (CCT 15/21)  ZACC 10 (15 March 2022)
Uniform Rules of Court, Rule 46A – Legal persons and trusts – Determination of alleged constitutional issue not reasonably necessary for determination of dispute – Jurisdiction not engaged.
Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/10media.pdf
Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Ltd v Novus Holdings Ltd (219/2021)  ZASCA 24 (9 March 2022)
Uniform Rules of Court, Rule 35(12) – Production of documents mentioned in or referred to in other party's affidavit – Obligation on such party to produce documents sought by opponent – No obligation to produce documents sought if such documents irrelevant or not material or protected by privilege or no longer in possession of party required to produce documents concerned.
City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality v Brooklyn Edge (Pty) Ltd and Another (928/2020)  ZASCA 23 (1 March 2022)
Sale by municipality of immovable properties – Challenge by municipality of order enforcing sale agreement – Suggested tacit condition – Not necessary for business efficacy of contract – Bystander test not satisfied – Purchase price not undetermined or undeterminable – Compliance by municipality with Local Government Ordinance 17 of 1939, s 79(18) – Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003, s 14 – No retrospective effect and not applicable – No interest in arrears – In duplum rule not applicable – Order varied only in respect of interest.
Dyantyi v Rhodes University and Others (846/2020)  ZASCA 32 (29 March 2022)
Disciplinary proceedings against student at public higher education institution – Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA) applicable – Procedural fairness and right to particular legal representation under PAJA – Dependent on particular circumstances of each case – In absence of compelling reasons to contrary procedurally unfair to require student to forgo services of counsel steeped in part-heard matter and available within reasonable time – Decisions flowing from disciplinary inquiry reviewed and set aside.
Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd v Letsemeng Local Municipality and Others (990/2020)  ZASCA 26 (9 March 2022)
Electricity Regulation Act 4 of 2006 – Interdict and counter-application – Municipality’s obligation to pay for electricity supplied to it by Eskom – Interdict to prevent the interruption of electricity supply for non-payment – Counter-application to compel payment as agreed to by municipality.
Adendorff NO and Another v Kubheka and Another (463/2020)  ZASCA 29 (24 March 2022)
Labour tenant – Definition of labour tenant in Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act 3 of 1996, s 1 – Farmworker – Requirements in terms of s 2(5) – Application for award of land in terms of s 16 and s 17 – Question of compensation in terms of s 22 and s 23 arising only after determination by court that occupier is labour tenant.
National Education Health and Allied Workers Union v Minister of Public Service and Administration and Others; South African Democratic Teachers Union and Others v Department of Public Service and Administration and Others; Public Servants Association and Others v Minister of Public Service and Administration and Others; National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers Union v Minister of Public Service and Administration and Others (CCT 21/21, 28/21, 29/21, 44/21)  ZACC 6 (28 February 2022)
Constitution, s 213, s 215 and s 216 – Public Service Regulations, Reg 78 and 79 – Collective bargaining – Leave to appeal granted – Clause of collective agreement invalid and unlawful – Appeal dismissed.
Media summary: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2022/6media.pdf
Commercial Stevedoring Agricultural and Allied Workers' Union and Others v Oak Valley Estates (Pty) Ltd and Another (CCT 301/20)  ZACC 7 (1 March 2022)
Right to strike – Final interdict – Leave to appeal granted – Interdictory relief is only competent if respondents are linked to actual or threatened unlawful conduct – Appeal upheld in part.
Media summary: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2022/7media.pdf.
Trustees for time being of Burmilla Trust and Another v President: Republic of South Africa and Another (64/2021)  ZASCA 22 (1 March 2022)
Appellants claimed before Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal that Kingdom of Lesotho had violated SADC Treaty by expropriation of valid mining lease without compensation and were liable for moral damages – Allegation that respondents violated appellants’ rights under Constitution, s 34 by participating in prevention of prosecution of claims before SADC Tribunal – Exception to claim for constitutional damages under s 172(1)(b) in respect of value of mining lease, moral damages, costs of claim before SADC Tribunal and wasted costs of subsequent legal proceedings – Whether SADC Tribunal could in law have held that mining lease was valid despite Lesotho court decisions to contrary – Under international law SADC Tribunal not bound by Lesotho court decisions – Could reach different conclusion on proper ground – Proper grounds alleged – Whether Van Zyl v Government of Republic of South Africa 2008 (3) SA 294 (SCA) precluded claim in respect of value of mining lease – Decision not res iudicata in respect of any issue in present action – Exception should have been dismissed in respect of claim for value of mining lease and costs of prosecution of that claim before SADC Tribunal – Exception otherwise correctly allowed – Claim for moral damages would in law have been denied by SADC Tribunal for failure to exhaust domestic remedies – No basis pleaded for wasted legal costs to be awarded as constitutional damages.
LAND AND PROPERTY
Thepanyega NO and Others v Letsoalo and Others (73/2021)  ZASCA 30 (24 March 2022)
Contract – Whether person who claims possession by way of ownership of property must prove termination of contractual right of another to hold such property prior to institution of proceedings – Agreement must be unequivocally cancelled before application for eviction is launched.
NVM obo VKM v Tembisa Hospital and Another (CCT 202/20)  ZACC 11 (25 March 2022)
Damages arising from brain injury sustained by baby during birth – Jurisdiction – Constitution, s 167(3)(b) – Sole issue one of factual causation – Constitutional considerations not affecting resolution of issue – Case not raising point of law – Court’s jurisdiction not engaged – Leave to appeal refused.
Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/11media.pdf.
Municipal Employees Pension Fund and Another v Mongwaketse (CCT 34/21)  ZACC 9 (14 March 2022)
Pension Funds Act 24 of 1956 – Definitions of “complainant” and “complaint” – Purported admission to membership of ineligible member – Whether such person is “complainant” as envisaged in Act – Pension Funds Adjudicator – Jurisdiction to grant unjustified enrichment relief – Whether case for such relief made out.
Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/9media.pdf.
Barnard Labuschagne Inc v South African Revenue Service and Another (CCT 60/21)  ZACC 8 (11 March 2022)
Tax Administration Act 28 of 2011, s 172 and s 174 – Certified statement filed by South African Revenue Service to be treated as civil judgment – Whether susceptible of rescission – Scope of Chapter 9 – Whether dispute about alleged payment of self-assessments within scope.
Media summary: http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZACC/2022/8media.pdf.
Moroka v Premier: Free State Province and Others (295/20)  ZASCA 34 (31 March 2022)
Customary law – Whether Premier contravened Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 41 of 2003, s 21(2)(b) when he referred dispute in respect of senior traditional leadership to Commission before Free State House of Traditional Leaders could deal with dispute – Decision of Commission on Traditional Leadership Dispute and Claims – Whether Commission had authority to investigate and make recommendations in respect of dispute which arose after 1 September 1927 in terms of Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Act 23 of 2009, s 25(2)(viii) – Whether Commission had authority to deal with dispute which was submitted to it after six months from date of coming into operation of Amendment Act – Commission had no such authority.
Date Published : 31 March 2022