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Outa launches contempt of court application against Sanral

26 January 2022 - 06:34
Outa has asked the high court in Pretoria to declare that Sanral is in contempt of court for not complying with an order the court issued in November last year.
Outa has asked the high court in Pretoria to declare that Sanral is in contempt of court for not complying with an order the court issued in November last year.
Image: 123RF/STOCKSTUDIO44 / file photo

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has filed an application in the high court in Pretoria to declare that Sanral is in contempt of court for not complying with the order the court issued in November last year.

The November 15 order directed the SA National Roads Agency to provide Outa with the records it had requested from Sanral within 15 days.

Outa had requested a copy of the toll concession contract that Sanral concluded with Trans African Concessions (TRAC) along with financial and other records. The concession contract gives TRAC the right to operate the N4 toll road from Tshwane to the Maputo port in Mozambique.

Outa said on Tuesday that Sanral had failed to oppose Outa’s application for access to the records and, once the order of November was granted, failed to comply with that order.

Outa sought this information to establish whether the R7bn loan Sanral obtained from the Brics New Development Bank, announced in 2019 and repayable over 15 years, was used to fund the concessionaire agreement.

“Sanral failed to adhere to a court order we obtained against them for the disclosure of documentation relating to the concession contract of TRAC.  This order was granted in our favour on 15 November 2021. They did nothing, hence we are forcing them to comply,” Outa legal project manager Brendan Slade said.

Outa says it is awaiting a court date for the new application.

The case began in June 2020, when Outa applied to Sanral, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, for a list of specified information on the TRAC concession.

Sanral failed to respond to Outa’s request. This is legally deemed a refusal to comply.

In February last year, Outa filed an application against Sanral in the Pretoria high court, demanding the documents. Sanral failed to oppose the application, so the order was granted in favour of Outa on November 15.

The next month, Sanral  indicated that it would file an application for the rescission of the court order.

Outa said this rescission application has not yet been filed and two deadlines have been missed.

“(Sanral’s) failure to comply with the order should, with respect, be frowned upon by this court especially taking into account the period of delay from the date the order was granted, and further indulgence extended to (Sanral) , given the opportunity  to serve and file the forever promised but never forthcoming rescission application,” said Andri Jennings, Outa's lawyer, in the court papers filed on Monday.

Sanral did not respond to requests for comment.

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