LAW CLINIC HOLDING RESPONDENTS RESPONSIBLE IN TERMS OF EMOLUMENT ATTACHMENT ORDER JUDGMENT

On 8 July 2015 Desai J delivered judgment on case 16703/2014 in the Western Cape Division of the High Court of South Africa. The case is of course better known as University of Stellenbosch Legal Aid Clinic & Others v Minister of Justice & Others 2015 (5) SA 221 (WCC). This judgment, as confirmed by the subsequent Constitutional Court case order a year later, has changed the South African legal landscape with regard to emolument attachment orders (EAOs). In the wake of this now well-known and well-publicised judgment the Clinic has continued to receive considerable numbers of requests for related legal aid, having assisted numerous clients to oppose illegal EAOs in the last decade or more. Although the judgment represents a huge victory in the war against unscrupulous and reckless lending, there are still questions with regard to the efficacy of the order to the problems of the man on the street. In paragraph 4 of his judgment, Desai J ordered that “[t]he First to the Third Respondents, the HRC, the Law Society and the Advice Offices are urged to take whatever steps they deem necessary to alert debtors as to their rights in terms of this judgment”. In paragraph 8, he ordered that “[a] copy of these proceedings are to be forwarded by the First Applicant to the Law Society of the Northern Province for it to determine whether Ms AE Jordaan and Flemix & Associates Incorporated have breached their ethical duties particularly with regard to forum shopping to secure emolument attachment orders”. The Clinic has recently requested reports from all the relevant role-players on their progress in terms of the order, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.


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