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Constitutional Court
Application: Access to Court

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Gert Nel Incorporated Attorneys has filed another application within two years to request direct access to the Constitutional Court in an effort to ask the Constitutional Court to set aside directives, the esteemed Judge President, in his official capacity as Head of the Gauteng Division of the High Court, has issued since 2019 regulating the administration and civil procedures in the High Court, Pretoria (the “PTA High Court”) and Johannesburg (the “JHB High Court”).

The most recent is the Gauteng Division Practice Directive titled “Consolidated Practice Directive 1 of 2024 Court Operations in the Gauteng Division” (“Directive 1 of 2024”), issued by the Office of the Judge President in January 2024. An impartial judiciary is the cornerstone of a democratic society, tasked with upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa.

Gert Nel Incorporated Attorneys asserts that Directive 1 of 2024 represents an encroachment into the realm of legislative authority and constitutes an overreach of judicial power. It is contended that neither the Constitution, Superior Courts Act, nor the Rule Board Act grants the Head of Court for a Division of the High Court the authority to amend, repeal, or prescribe peremptory forms and that override and/or supersede the Uniform Rules of Court.

Like previous directives, Directive 1 of 2024 extends beyond clarifying procedures and facilitating the court’s day-to-day operations.

The Directive introduces new legal obligations not envisaged by the Superior Courts Act or the Uniform Rules of Court. In certain instances, the Directive curtails the procedural rights afforded to litigants by the Uniform Rules of Court, imposing mandatory requirements that precipitate substantial costs and delays in the legal process. Practice directives are meant to provide essential guidance for the daily functioning of the Courts and should not place obstacles in the way of achieving the objects of the Constitution, Superior Courts Act, Uniform Rules of Court, and common law.

Gert Nel Incorporated Attorneys further contends that Directive 1 of 2024 is ultra vires and constitutionally invalid. Practice directives should supplement, not supersede, established legislation. Per the Court’s obligation

You can read the court application and related news stories here, or jump to the latest update from the court.

Law firm heads to Concourt against restrictions to court roll

A Pretoria law firm is heading to the Constitutional Court in a bid to overturn practice directives issued by the Gauteng High Court in January which restrict the number of cases a law firm can enrol per day. Gert Nel Incorporated Attorneys, represented by attorney Gert Nel, said in an affidavit submitted to the Concourt that the directives infringed on the right of litigants to access the court. The directives, issued by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, pertain to both the Pretoria and Johannesburg divisions. In terms of the directives, each law firm may only apply for a maximum of five matters per court roll a day. This is capped to a combined total of 20 matters per division, per day. These restrictions do not include urgent applications. A limit of 40 warrants of execution and subpoenas, per firm, may be issued per day. Nel said limiting the number of trial

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Constitutional Court: Where are the judgments?

Written by Nurina Ally and Mbekezeli Benjamin | Published in EWN on 10 April 2024 The Court has not delivered a single judgment this year. But concerns over the Court’s efficiency have been mounting for some time. We are now into the second quarter of 2024, and the Constitutional Court has yet to hand down any judgments. From a survey of the law reports, the court’s late start is unprecedented. Usually, within the first two months of the year, the business of the court in deciding consequential matters is well underway. By this time last year, the court delivered ten judgments. The year before, at least 13. In at least 15 matters, judgment has been pending since last year. Eight of those have been reserved for six months or longer. In other words, there are many litigants that have been anxiously waiting for the Court’s decision for months, and the backlog is growing.

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Chaos as attorneys seek to have RAF cases settled in city

Written by Zelda Venter | Published in Weekend Pretoria News on 24 June 2023 WHILE the legal fraternity describe the claims process as chaos, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) says order had been restored. The lawyers camped outside Sammy Marks Square for two days this week to try to get a spot to settle RAF claims on behalf of their clients. Attorneys are so upset about the fact there was no structure to the process of block settlements to which they were invited by the RAF, that the Pretoria Attorneys’ Association asked the Legal Practice Council to intervene in the “unfortunate situation”. In a letter sent to the Legal Practice Council, the association said it had taken note, “with utter dismay, of the indignation that members of the legal profession have had to suffer at the hands of the staff of the RAF this past week”. Attorneys camped out in

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Law Society Accuses RAF of Unfair Treatment As Lawyers Stand in Long Queues to Try to Settle Clients’ Cases

Written by Lerato Mutsila | Published on 21 June 2023 The Law Society of South Africa has expressed concern about the Road Accident Fund’s treatment of lawyers lining up outside its offices. The Law Society accused RAF of subjecting the lawyers to unfair conditions and delaying justice for their clients The lawyers camped overnight to settle their client’s cases, only for RAF to fail to open its office doors The Law Society has slammed RAF for subjecting the lawyers to unfair treatment and impeding accident victims’ access to justice. Throngs of lawyers have had to endure long lines outside the RAF offices at Sammy Marks Square in Pretoria since noon on Sunday, 18 June, to negotiate block settlements. This comes after RAF released a notice informing legal practitioners about the dates and venues for block settlements. The notice indicated that the negotiations would be on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Committed

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Order restored, but lawyers camp out overnight to settle Road Accident Fund claims

Written by Zelda Venter | Published on 21 June 2023 Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Pretoria – Hundreds of lawyers, desperate to have their clients’ claims settled directly with the Road Accident Fund (RAF), were again waiting for service yesterday after camping overnight outside Sammy Marks Square in the Pretoria CBD. While things were moving slightly yesterday after a futile overnight wait on Monday, the process was still painfully slow with the queues hardly moving. Proceedings were slow because only a few firms were allowed in at a time; and it took at least two hours for RAF staff to negotiate with each firm. The lawyers did not want to miss out on the opportunity to respond to the RAF’s recent invitation to negotiate block settlements, and again braved the bitter cold night to be first in line when the offices opened yesterday morning.Some posted videos of queues stretching

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Treated with disdain: Law Society stands with “committed” lawyers queuing to settle RAF cases

Written by Jonisayi Maromo | Published on 21 June 2023 File Picture: Jacques Naude / African News Agency (ANA) Pretoria – The Law Society of South Africa has expressed concern over the treatment of throngs of legal practitioners who queued at Sammy Marks Square in the Pretoria CBD in a bid to take up the offer from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to negotiate block settlements for their clients who are accident victims. The RAF had sent a notice to legal practitioners indicating the dates and venues for block settlements. However, these negotiations would be on a “first come, first served” basis. Legal practitioners queued up since noon on Sunday, 18 June in order to be first in line on Monday. “On 19 June, the RAF offices remained closed and legal practitioners were informed that the offices will open on Tuesday, 20 June. Police were called in when legal practitioners

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Chaos as hundreds of attorneys queue in Pretoria CBD to settle Road Accident Fund cases

Written by Zelda Venter | Published on 20 June 2023 Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA) Pretoria – Chaos erupted yesterday as hundreds of attorneys queued at Sammy Marks Square in the Pretoria CBD, to take up the offer from the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to negotiate block settlements for accident victims. Several attorneys who did not want to be identified for fear of victimisation, told the Pretoria News that they had been queuing at the venue since noon on Sunday. “We did this to ensure a place in the queue as the RAF said it will be on a first come, first serve basis,” one of the attorneys said. According to her, she and her colleagues took turns to stand in the queue. To make matters worse, nothing came of their efforts, as the office set up by the RAF on the first floor of the Sammy Marks Convention

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RAF beneficiaries in long wait for justice

Written by Zelda Venter | 12 May 2023 SIX months after a Pretoria law firm launched a Constitutional Court challenge on behalf of six road accident victims in an effort to secure trial dates for their matters, they are still waiting to hear whether their case will be entertained or not. Gert Nel, of the law firm, Gert Nel Incorporated, said in filing the application on an urgent basis, the applicants were yet to hear from Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on the matter. Nel said in many cases claimants had been waiting years and in some cases, claimants had died before their claims could be finalised. He referred to an article in a business publication earlier this month in which Pick n Pay chairperson Gareth Ackerman said that the government was raking in millions of rand as a “windfall tax” because of load shedding. Ackerman noted that 37% of the

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Road Accident Fund directives place obstacles in way of new claims

Written by Zelda Venter | 11 May 2023 Pretoria – A full Bench (three judges) of the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, this week heard arguments by several Road Accident Fund (RAF) claimants, asking that directives issued by the entity which places obstacles in the way of issuing new claims to be overturned. It was argued on behalf of the eight claimants who turned to the courts, that the directives make it nearly impossible to lodge claims and that the RAF is infringing on the constitutional rights of claimants. In terms of these directives and an amended claim form, claimants must attach a host of documents, such as a comprehensive accident report and hospital and medical records, before they are allowed to even lodge it. The court was asked to set aside the requirement for all the compulsory information before being able to lodge a claim. In a first step, the

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6 Responses

  1. Thanks for the useful information – great to have a dedicated spot to follow the progress on this case.

  2. This is great news! Our firm has also had great difficulty at the Pretoria High Court, in particular with the officials working at the judicial case management section. At the end of the day, thousands of road accident victims are the ones left stricken by the implementation of these practice directives and arbitrary requirements enforced by court officials. We look forward to the outcome of this application. Thank you Gert Nel Inc.

  3. Thank you so much for fighting for our rights ❤️, I’m so honoured to be one of your clients ,whom my rights were fought for 🙏

  4. 1.Injury on duty(spinal injury). 2.Underwent spinal operation as results of injury of spinal. 3.Had disability benefit at work but not paid.4.Instead declared medical unfit by Employer medical doctors with no disability and discharged from work. 5.No workman compensation payment made to me for the injury sustained while on long standing duty with the Employer.6.Currently unemployed and unemployed less,nobody can employ me due to spinal injury sustained at work and spinal operation.Worked for 27 years as785 dump truck operator that required spinal brace use as the PPE full time while operating machine.Insurance has given me an opportunity to appeal their non-payment for my disability. I here laugh my personal injury claims against insurance and compensation

  5. Thank you gertnelattorneys,your efforts don’t go unnoticed 🫡☺️🙏

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