The Commercial Case Law Index is a collection of judgments from African countries on topics relating to commercial legal practice. The collection aims to provide a snapshot of commercial legal practice in a country, rather than present solely traditionally "reportable" cases. The index currently covers 400 judgments from Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Get started on finding judgments that are relevant to you by browsing the topic list on the left of the screen. Click the arrows next to the topic names to reveal a detailed list of sub-topics. Most judgments are accompanied by a short summary written by subject-matter expert postgraduate students from the University of Cape Town.
Aggrieved by a High Court judgment concerning its dispute with the respondent, the applicant looked to the Court of Appeal for revision thereof in terms of section 4(3) of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act.
The application neglected to include the record of proceedings from which the revision arose – a fatally defective error which rendered its case incompetent. The court therefore struck the matter out yet opted leniently to exercise its discretion on the award of costs – no award was made.
Its reasoning was twofold: the applicant had itself pointed out the defective nature of its application during proceedings; and secondly, the respondent had been caused no prejudice by the applicant’s error. It had filed no papers in opposition thereof, nor had it been required to argue the material flaws of the application before the court. The interests of justice, the court held, warranted that each party bore its own costs.
Aggrieved by the High Court order concerning its dispute with the respondent, the applicant sought revision thereof from the Court of Appeal. The application was made outside of the 60 day window prescribed by rule 65 the Court of Appeal Rules.
This defect was objected to by the respondent and promptly conceded by the applicant who acknowledged its fatal nature. The main question before the court was to conclude the matter by dismissal or striking out.
Surveying the authoritative case law, the court concluded that the proper position is to dismiss only competent applications; those which suffer from material defects are to be struck out. A time-bar constitutes one such flaw, and so the matter was consequently struck out.
This was an application for a revision in respect of execution proceedings and a garnishee order.
The respondent raised preliminary objections: that the court lacked jurisdiction to determine the revision; that the court has not been moved and that the application was bad for not being accompanied with the order sought to be revised.
The court dismissed the final objection since there is no legal requirement for the same.
The court determined that it had jurisdiction, by applying the rule that all revisions of a civil nature in a resident magistrate court shall lie to the high court. The court interpreted this provision to include execution proceedings from resident magistrate courts.
In determining the second objection, the court observed that the applicant had cited non-existent legislation by referring to the Magistrates’ Court Act as the Resident Magistrates Court Act. It applied the rule that when an applicant cites the wrong provision the matter becomes incompetent since the court is not properly moved, to hold that it had not been moved. The court also considered that the applicant wrongly cited s 79 of the Civil Procedure Code. In doing so, it appreciated the difference on revision that may be undertaken per s 79 of the Civil Procedure Code and per ss 43 and 44 of the Magistrates Court Act: s 79 referred to finalized cases while the rest refer to any civil proceedings.
Accordingly, the application was struck out with an order as to costs in favor of the respondent.