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Outa slams 'dodgy' Sanral summonses

May 17 2016 10:21
Duncan Alfreds, Fin24

Cape Town - The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has slammed the South African National Roads Agency's (Sanral's) legal strategy to issue summonses to motorists who have failed to pay their e-tolls.

The civil action organisation, known for its opposition to e-tolls, said Sanral employed attorneys with “virtual offices” in contravention of Magistrates Court rules.

“The correspondent attorney used by Sanral in the Pretoria Magistrates Court summons is Bruce Henderson Attorneys.  According to the summons, Mr Henderson’s physical address, where notices have to be delivered is 3rd Floor, Building 2, Brooklyn Bridge Office Park, 570 Fehrsen Street, Pretoria,” Outa said in a statement on Monday.

“But Mr Henderson doesn’t practise from this address, as the office constitutes nothing other than a single desk with a receptionist in a Regus office, nor is the receptionist able to answer a single question regarding issues relating to the summons,” it added.

In response, Henderson said he was acting as a correspondent attorney for Morris Fuller Williams Attorneys, based in Durban.

Incomplete information

“I’m acting as a post box, I’m acting on behalf of Morris Fuller,” Henderson told Fin24.

He said that he has noted Outa’s threat to lay a charge.

“I’ve appointed an address in Regus Office Park and we have asked the Law Society for clarity and will be following it up with an email later on this morning,” he said.

Outa said many summonses have incomplete information such as a lack of a case number, which makes it difficult for defendants to file a notice of intention to defend.

“It would be unethical, unprofessional, unlawful and most definitely reportable to the Law Society for Sanral’s lawyers to proceed to obtain judgments by default where defendants do not file a notice to defend because they are unable to do so,” the organisation said.

Magistrates rules prescribe that an attorney’s fax, email and telephone number are listed on summonses to afford defendants the ability to respond to demands.

“None of these [details] appear on the summons, and it simply redirects the motorist back to Sanral's ‘Less60’ call centre and Sanral’s Violations Centre telephone number, whose operators are entirely clueless about the details of the summons,” Outa said.

How have you responded to suspect Sanral summonses? Let us know


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outa  |  sanral  |  tolls
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