LSSA welcomes ConCourt ruling

2009-10-14 19:35

Johannesburg - The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has welcomed a Constitutional Court judgment requiring the government to settle judgment orders within 75 days.

"It is hoped that judgment debts will be satisfied at the first instance and judgment creditors will never need to resort to the attachment and execution of State assets. To have to do so would be unfortunate,"

LSSA co-chairs Thoba Poyo-Dlwati and Henri van Rooyen said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Friday, the Constitutional Court ordered the implementation of an interim procedure for the recovery of unpaid national and provincial government debt.

This would remain in force for two years or until unconstitutional aspects of the State Liability Act were amended and would ensure there was an average 75-day period between the date of final judgment and that of execution.

The LSSA felt the order protected the rights of judgment creditors - particularly people without access to legal resources - and ensured they could obtain effective and speedy relief, and at the same time protected state assets.

"We trust that national and provincial departments, including the Treasury, will commit themselves to comply with the Constitutional Court's order," it said.

It said it had intervened as a party to the matter on the grounds that attorneys represented most people who litigated against the state. It had told the court of the practical difficulties judgment creditors faced when seeking to execute judgment debts against state property.

The LSSA said it would continue to monitor and comment on draft legislation, such as the State Liability Bill, to ensure that the best interests of the public were protected in any new legislation.