The Legal Proceedings against Certain Organs of State Act, 2002 requires that notice must be given to any organ of state which is to be sued within six months from the date on which the ‘debt’ becomes due.  This law relates only to a damages claim. The damages claim may be a delictual, contractual or some other liability claim under any law but it must be a claim for damages.

The reason is that evidence in damages cases is more likely to depend on the memory of people than on documents.  It is desirable that organs of state be given early notice of the proceedings so that they can investigate damages claims and secure the necessary evidence.

The claim in Vhembe District Municipality v Stewarts & Lloyds was a claim for payment of an amount due under a contract and notice was not needed under the Act.