Verdict in winemaker, Land Bank case soon

2011-02-21 13:46

Bloemfontein - Judgment will be delivered by the Constitutional Court on Tuesday in the dispute between well-known winemaker Nicolas Krone, from Twee Jonge Gezellen, and the Land Bank.

The matter relates to R37.9m the Land Bank was demanding from Krone and Twee Jonge Gezellen.

The Land Bank submitted that Krone and his company signed an acknowledgement of debt for that amount in the Land Bank's favour.

The bank obtained a provisional order from the High Court in Cape Town that the money be paid within two months.

Krone argued in the Constitutional Court that the legal process of provisional court orders was unconstitutional.

He submitted that the provisional court order deprived him and his company of the right to prove in court that, among other things, the amount owed was actually R20m.

The law requires a full payment of the provisional order to the Land Bank before the case can proceed.

Krone and his company argued that the provisional order was unconstitutional because it limited their right of access to courts and because it allowed only those who can pay to defend the action.

In so doing, it denied those who could not pay equal protection and benefit of the law.

Krone and Twee Jonge Gezellen indicated that they could not pay the full amount.

The Land Bank argued that provisional order procedure did not infringe on the applicants' fair hearing and equality rights.