SANRAL RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS OF COURT ORDER DEFIANCE
Pretoria, 27 January 2022 – The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) wishes to state on record that it has not been nor is it currently in any wilful defiance of any court order. Any assertions to the contrary are simply sensationalist and will be dealt with through legal processes.
On the 15th of November 2021, Her Lordship Mrs Justice Van Der Schyff J granted a default order against SANRAL, in favour of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA). In response, ENSafrica, acting on behalf of SANRAL, informed OUTA’s attorneys of the instruction to issue an application overturning the default order. OUTA’s attorney was fully aware of SANRAL’s intention to submit the application.
SANRAL’s failure to timeously oppose the application, which lead to the default order, was as a result of an error and will be dealt with fully during the court proceedings.
In addition, OUTA has instituted two other identical cases against SANRAL, involving the Bakwena concessionaire contract and the N3TC concessionaire contract, where private and confidential information of the concessionaries in question, is being sought, without the consent of the concessionaires. SANRAL is equally opposing these applications.
SANRAL’s position regarding the matter is as follows:
- ) In 2020, SANRAL received an application wherein private, proprietary and confidential information in relation to the N3TC concessionaire contract was sought by OUTA.
- ) On 22 February 2021, OUTA delivered further similar applications involving information on the Bakwena concessionaire contract and TRAC concessionaire contract, here, an error occurred which resulted in the confusion of the case numbers. SANRAL opposed the application pertaining to the Bakwena concessionaire contract.
- ) The matter involving TRAC’s concessionaire contract was heard on an unopposed basis on 15 November 2021 and the default order was then granted without SANRAL’s involvement, due to human error.
- ) The default order was then served to SANRAL on 19 November 2021 following which the agency sought legal representation to challenge the order. This was fully communicated to OUTA’s attorneys. TRAC’s attorneys also informed OUTA’s attorneys of an objection to the release of TRAC’s private and proprietary information as well as an intention to intervene in the court proceedings as soon as possible through the institution of a rescission application.
- ) In December 2021, SANRAL’s attorney invited OUTA’s attorneys to withdraw the court proceedings and allow SANRAL to respond to the PAIA application (and provide TRAC with an opportunity to respond). OUTA refused to do so. From this it was clear that OUTA does not have benevolent intentions in its PAIA request. Instead, it seeks to coerce SANRAL into delivering private and confidential information of third parties, by pursuing an application to have SANRAL declared contemptuous of the default order and ultimately have its former CEO committed to prison, which SANRAL considers to be a scheme of sort.
- ) OUTA was invited as long ago as 8 December 2021 to permit SANRAL to respond to OUTA’s PAIA request. OUTA, however, elected to put SANRAL to the pains of applying for the rescission of the Order. A matter that was not brought to the attention of the court in its current application for contempt of court, which SANRAL is in the process of opposing.
The issues above will be dealt with fully during court proceedings. What is important to mention at this stage is that SANRAL reacted swiftly to the default order as it was received and is willing to cooperate with the rule of law.