SANRAL’s Default Judgement is deceptive and not a precedent
In response to media reports circulating that the first default judgement for the non-payment of e-tolls has taken place, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) points out that this judgment has nothing to do with the legality of e-tolls and is not precedent setting in any way, as regards the non-payment of e-toll.
This default judgment against a company in liquidation does not delve into the merits of e-tolls and is simply a judgement against someone who failed to provide a notice to defend themselves after receiving a summons for non-payment of e-tolls.
“We made contact with the defendant concerned who claims that she never received the summons and therefore did not enter into a notice of intention to defend this matter,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s Chairperson. “If this is indeed the case and she (the company owner) was never able to defend the case against her, she would likely have ground to have this default judgement rescinded.”
One must consider that in this instance, SANRAL has issued a default judgement against a close corporation in liquidation and are bound to receive very little from their effort. It is tantamount to kicking someone when they’re down.
“SANRAL sent out roughly 6000 summonses last year and in the case of OUTA’s supporters, we gave notice of intention to defend each one,” adds Duvenage. “Whilst SANRAL may be within their rights to seek defaults against some who did not indicate their intention to defend themselves, we see this particular action as another cheap shot and act of intimidation intended to coerce the public into paying their e-tolls.”
OUTA believes SANRAL should cease their conduct of seeking default judgements against an unsuspecting public, when they know full well that a test case is being developed and will be heard later this year. Their actions of seeking default judgments are dangerous, in that they could push innocent people and companies over the edge and into poverty and liquidation when the chances are extremely high that they will receive a ruling in due course, that e-tolls have been introduced unlawfully.
On its website, OUTA has provided information on how the public and businesses should handle summonses and default judgments. OUTA supporters who have notified OUTA of receipt of a summons will fall under the E-toll Defence Umbrella and the test case due to be heard.