In April 2016, SANRAL issued 6000 summonses to motorists who had not settled their e-toll debt, both in the high court (for those over R300,000) and the magistrate’s court. Between the period of April and August, over 150 OUTA members received a summons and for each case, we issued a notice of intention to defend.
We then appointed legal counsel, under the lead of Gilbert Marcus SC, to defend the matter. Letters were drafted and sent to Sanral’s Lawyers – Werksmans, to provide the necessary documentation in order to formulate a meaningful defense. Discussions and exchange of details between legal teams took place and by mid-August, the finer details of a possible test case were considered.
A test case will allow all OUTAs members’ cases are put on hold whilst we thrash out the defense of one (or more) of our members against Sanral. If indeed we prove Sanral’s summons and demands for payment are illegitimate or unlawful, they will face a serious issue with an inability to enforce payment for all road users.
If however, SANRAL proves legitimacy and lawfulness of their conduct, they will have to do so for each individual case going forward.