In April 2016, SANRAL began to issue 6000 summonses to the motoring public who has not settled their e-toll debt, both in the high court (for those over R300,000) and the magistrates court. Between the period of April and August, over 150 OUTA members were recipients of these summonses from SANRAL and for each case, OUTA issues a notice of intention to defend the matter.
OUTA then appointed its counsel under the lead of Gilbert Marcus to defend the matter. Letters were drafted and sent to Sanral’s Lawyers – Werksmans, to provide the necessary documentation in order for OUTA to formulate a meaningful defense. These discussions and exchanges of detail between the legal teams have been in place several weeks and by mid August, the finer details of a possible test case was being discussed.
A test case will mean that all OUTAs members cases are put on hold whilst we thrash out the defense of one (or more) of our members against Sanral’s summons for non payment. If indeed we are able to prove that Sanrals summons and demands for payment are illegitimate, or unlawful, that will essentially mean that the scheme will have a serious problem and inability to enforce payment for all other road users.
If however SANRAL can prove legitimacy and lawfulness of their conduct, it means that they will have to do so for every signs case of each individual going forward.