n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Background circumstances, surrounding circumstances and the interpretation of contracts : regspraak

Volume 2009, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



Arguably some of the most controversial issues relating to the interpretation of written contracts concern the admissibility of extrinsic evidence. There are two related rules that apply in this regard (Christie (2006) 204). Firstly, there is the so-called "parol evidence rule" which prevents a party from presenting extrinsic evidence to contradict, add to, detract from, modify or redefine the terms of a written contract ( 1980 3 SA 927 (A)). The other rule, which is closely connected to the parol evidence rule, renders extrinsic evidence inadmissible to alter the clear and unambiguous meaning of the words contained in a contract ( 1955 3 SA 447 (A)).

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