19 April 2017

South Africa: Personal Legal Cost Orders Against Rogue Public Officials Are the Frontline in the War Against Impunity

analysis

Recent legal developments surrounding personal cost orders against rogue and mindless public officials that request or give the go-ahead for the frivolous institution or defence of litigation, is going to play an increasingly important role in South Africa's raging war on impunity. By IVAN HERSELMAN.

Co-authored by Marais Dekker, an admitted attorney and legal consultant at Argumentum

Dubious public officials have a history of getting away with murder when it comes to the institution of frivolous litigation, or the frivolous defence of legitimate litigation instituted against them by aggrieved parties. Because they're able to litigate with somebody else's money - in this case the public purse - they are happy to procure the services of high-price law firms for repeated rounds of litigation and appeals, hoping to wear down opponents who might not have the same unfettered access to resources. In July 2016, the Public Service Commission published a report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the Office of the State Attorney, wherein it found that the state loses as much as 70% of all its legal cases.

However, the recent legal developments surrounding personal cost orders against rogue and mindless public officials that request or give the go-ahead for...

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