Tag archives: Prescription

Condonation for late notice of intention to sue

Claimants who sue the State often have to apply for condonation for late notice, because the State must be notified of an intention to sue within 6 months of an incident occurring, and many claimants are unaware of this special time restriction. In Ndlovu v Member of the Executive Council for Police, Roads and Transport: … Continue reading

Condonation granted where no prejudice proved

A plaintiff who suffers damage usually has 3 years within which to sue the defendant. But a claim against the State must be notified within 6 months of an incident occurring. This notification comes before the summons is served. If a claim is not notified within this time period (set out in the Institution of … Continue reading

Offers of settlement and time-bars in insurance policies

In South Africa, for example, under the Policyholder Protection Rules or the Short-term Ombud’s Rules the running of statutory prescription and time-bar limitation periods provided for in an insurance policy may be suspended while a dispute is resolved. German law also provides for some circumstances in which the limitation period in an insurance coverage dispute … Continue reading

When does a claim under a liability policy prescribe?

A claim for indemnification under a liability insurance contract only arises when liability to a third party for a certain amount has been established. For purposes of prescription, the debt becomes due when the insured is under legal liability to pay a fixed and determined sum of money. Until then a ‘claim’ for indemnification under … Continue reading

Extinctive prescription: When is a debt due?

The Constitutional Court reaffirmed that a debt becomes due when it is immediately claimable or recoverable. Where the purchase price was not receivable under the Alienation of Land Act 1981 until the contract was recorded at the Deeds Office, prescription did not start to run until the recording of the contract took place. It is … Continue reading

Municipality’s right to reclaim undeveloped property prescribes after three years

The appellant municipality sold vacant immovable property to the respondent company subject to the condition that if buildings of a certain value were not erected on the property within three years from the date of sale, ownership of the property reverted to the municipality which could demand retransfer. It was held that because the municipality … Continue reading

Acknowledging indebtedness in without prejudice discussions interrupts prescription

An acknowledgement of debt made by a debtor to a creditor in the course of without prejudice negotiations will interrupt the running of extinctive prescription unless this consequence is excluded from the discussions. In KLD Residential CC v Empire Earth Investments 17, the Supreme Court of Appeal was asked to strike a balance between the public … Continue reading

The once-and-for-all rule for delictual damages

A person who claims for damages sustained as a result of injuries negligently caused by someone else has a single, indivisible cause of action and must sue for all damages in one claim. This proposition was reasserted in the context of a prescription allegation regarding a Road Accident Fund Act claim. The RAF Act only … Continue reading

Section 126B(1)(b) of the National Credit Act is not retrospective

Section 126B which prohibits dealing in a debt under a credit agreement extinguished by prescription, and allows the consumer to raise the defence of prescription (even though the consumer agreed to revive a prescribed debt without being aware of the prescription defence) came into force on 13 March 2015. Before section 126B was enacted an agreement … Continue reading

Acceleration clauses and prescription

If a loan is repayable in instalments and includes an acceleration clause that if the debtor defaults on paying any instalment, the creditor is entitled on notice to terminate the loan agreement and claim the full balance outstanding, the debt ordinarily only prescribes three years after the date of the notice claiming the full outstanding … Continue reading

Prescription in contract runs from due date of obligation

Agreements were signed between 31 March and 1 May 2004 for the sale of erven in a newly established township before the township was proclaimed but with municipal permission. The purchasers claimed that the township developers had failed to incorporate certain amenities in the township. Summons was only issued in August 2008. The defendant claimed … Continue reading

Aircraft fire claim 26 years late

A Cameroonian insurer waited 26 years too long to file a subrogated lawsuit claiming $154 million from The Boeing Co and the engine manufacturer after a 1984 fatal fire on a Boeing plane. In 1984 the aircraft caught fire on a Cameroon runway with three fatalities and 72 people injured. Despite three and four year … Continue reading
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