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n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - Sessie van die rei vindicatio anderhalf eeu ná Jhering? : Sonnekus, J.C.
Justice delayed is justice denied - the more so in a matter of no complexity
"[T]his matter fell to be determined by the application of well-known legal principles to a simple set of facts. It is a matter of no complexity, and it was wholly inappropriate for the court a quo [Ntsebeza AJ] to have directed the appeal to be heard by this court whose time ought rather to be taken up dealing with matters of greater complexity and difficulty truly deserving of its attention ... . Despite the simplicity of the issues raised, it took more than nine months after the exception had been argued on 19 February 2009 before judgment was delivered on 25 September 2009. ... In this latter judgment the acting judge explained that he had been delayed by waiting for copies of certain judgments to be forwarded to him by counsel for the plaintiff, but that is not an acceptable explanation as the judgments concerned had all been reported. ... Justice delayed is justice denied. [A] delay of some nine months in producing a judgment on such a simple matter of no complexity is at first blush wholly unacceptable. ... The Chief Justice is reported to have recently deprecated the number of reserved judgments as well as the delays taken by Judges to deliver their judgments, which he found to be 'utterly unacceptable', and to have remarked as long as such delays existed judges could not avoid the accusation that the justice system had failed to deliver on its promise of access to justice. ... Judges are employed to give judgments" Exdev (Pty) Ltd v Pekudei Investments case nr 97/2020 (SCA) (unreported of 1-12-2010) (ZASCA 170) par 22-25.
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