Following the concerns raised by the Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) this morning regarding the public spat between OUTA and SANRAL concerning civil legal action on unpaid e-tolls bills, Justice Project South Africa wishes support the AA’s calls and to add its concerns to the mix.
It is remarkable that despite having been specifically named by OUTA, Werksmans Attorneys have remained silent on this issue, even though this law firm is the only party which can settle this dispute between SANRAL and OUTA and in so doing, provide much-needed clarity to the motoring public.
If it is true that Werksmans Attorneys have reached an agreement with OUTA to “stay legal action against all current and future members of OUTA pending the outcome of a test case”, then the details of this agreement must officially and urgently be made public.
If SANRAL asserts, as it apparently does, that no such agreement is in place, then all it needs to do is have its legal representatives be a party to a joint media statement with SANRAL refuting OUTA’s claims and that will be the end of the story.
If however OUTA’s claims turn out to be true then SANRAL would need to explain why it is misleading the public and its legal representatives would need to explain why they are seemingly seeking to favour OUTA members in violation of Section 9(1) of the Bill of Rights under the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 which holds that “Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law”.
Furthermore, if such an agreement is in place, then it stands to reason that no Court in South Africa would risk making a pre-emptive ruling whilst the outcome of a test case is pending and in so doing, violating the constitutional rights of those who are not members of OUTA.
JPSA therefore calls upon SANRAL and Werksmans Attorneys urgently issue a joint statement providing definitive clarity on this matter.
National Chairman – Justice Project South Africa (NPC)