This blog was co-authored by Maano Manavhela, Candidate Attorney.
In this case, the parties entered into a written contract whereby the defendant would provide cash management and security services. The claimant’s money was lost during a cash-in-transit heist whilst in the custody of the defendant. The court found that the loss sustained by the plaintiff occurred during the execution of the contract entered into between the parties, therefore the defendant could not be held liable using the law of delict.
The defendant made two collections, one before noon and the second in the afternoon. The plaintiff instituted a delictual claim for loss of money against the defendant for failure to timeously deliver the first collection of money into the nominated banks of Crown Mines and alleged that the defendant acted wrongfully and negligently.
The court had to assess whether the defendant can be held delictually liable for services performed in accordance with their contract.
The court said that the defendant’s failure to deliver the first cash collection under their contractual obligation before returning for the second collection constituted a claim for contractual damages. A loss causally connected to a contract but not arising from the performance of the contract but rather from additional or complementary duties may give rise to a claim for delictual damages, subject to qualifications, but that was not the situation here. The defendant was not delictually liable for the loss of money sustained during the robbery whilst executing their contractual obligations.
The judgment is in accordance with well-established principles.