Outa says don’t panic about e-toll judgment

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has said in a statement that the first default judgment for the non-payment of e-tolls has not set a precedent for punishment for all of those boycotting the system.

Moneyweb learnt this week that the High Court in Pretoria in January issued the first default judgment for the non-payment of e-tolls.

A warrant of execution was prepared and could be issued for the sheriff to seize the debtor’s property and sell it in order to raise the funds if the debtor failed to settle the judgment debt.

According to Sandton attorney Anton Burger a default judgment is the normal outcome if a debtor fails to defend a matter or fails to lodge a plea once he has indicated an intention to defend.

Legal expert Prof Marinus Wiechers told Moneyweb that e-toll defaulters should take note that they could be brought before the court. He said that since the burden of proof was on Sanral, it was clear that the high court is satisfied the proof Sanral submitted was sufficient to justify a ruling in its favour. He said a precedent had been set, and this judgment had therefore paved the way for many more.

The court ordered an Alberton closed corporation; One Stop Building Supplies CC, to pay its outstanding R436 407.57 e-toll debt incurred “on multiple occasions between August 3 2013 and August 31 2015 both dates inclusive.”

It was further ordered to pay interest at the rate of 10.25% as well as the relevant sheriff’s fees.

Sanral said it was still engaging with Outa about a possible test case and the public will be informed when the parties have agreed on the way forward.

However, Outa has declared that the judgment has changed nothing. In a statement, it says: “In response to media reports circulating that the first default judgement for the non-payment of e-tolls has taken place, Outa points out that this judgment has nothing to do with the legality of e-tolls and is not precedent setting in any way, as regards the non-payment of e-toll.

“This default judgment against a company in liquidation does not delve into the merits of e-tolls and is simply a judgment against someone who failed to provide a notice to defend themselves after receiving a summons for non-payment of e-tolls.

“We made contact with the defendant concerned, who claims that she never received the summons and therefore did not enter into a notice of intention to defend this matter,” said Wayne Duvenage, Outa’s chairperson.

“If this is indeed the case and she (the company owner) was never able to defend the case against her, she would likely have ground to have this default judgment rescinded.”

-Caxton News Service

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