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oa Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal - The appointment of a proxy "At Any Time" in terms of Section 58 of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 : Richard Du Plessis Barry v Clearwater Estates NPC [2017] ZASCA 11

Volume 22 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1727-3781

 

Abstract

Section 58(1) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 gives a shareholder the right to appoint a proxy "at any time" for the purpose of participating in, speaking and voting on behalf of that shareholder at a shareholders′ meeting, or providing or withholding written consent on behalf of the shareholder in terms of section 60. One important issue that arises in regard to the appointment of a proxy relates to the proper interpretation of section 58(1) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, namely whether this section, as read with section 58(3)(c), constitutes an unalterable provision giving a shareholder an unlimited right to appoint a proxy "at any time" before the proxy exercises the shareholder's rights at the shareholders meeting, or whether the time period within which the instrument of a proxy′s appointment must be delivered to the company may be restricted by the MOI. This issue was considered by the SCA in the Richard Du Plessis Barry case in view of the appellant′s contention that the provisions of the MOI that limited the time period within which the instrument appointing a proxy must be delivered to the company, or other person on behalf of the company, were valid. In this note, I examine the Richard Du Plessis Barry case with a focus on the proper interpretation of the right of a shareholder to appoint a proxy "at any time" as conferred by section 58(1) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008. I provide some critical comments on the main issues that this judgement raises, including the interpretation of section 58(1) in the context of "alterable" and "unalterable" provisions of the Companies Act 71 of 2008, a purposive interpretation of section 58(1), the interaction between section 58(1) and section 58(3)(c), the significance of the difference in the wording of section 58(1) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008 and section 189 of the previous Companies Act 61 of 1973, as well as the practical implications of the court's decision in this matter. This is followed by a brief comparative analysis with selected international jurisdictions and some concluding remarks.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-146d3b93f1
2019-03-13
2019-07-16

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