M v Zimbali Country Club (AR207/2016) [2016] ZAKZPHC 81 (23 September 2016) per Seegobin J (P Olsen J concurring).

Actionable causes and the proper legal meaning of ‘cause of action‘ is the entire set of facts giving rise to an enforceable claim.  Every fact that is material to be proved to entitle plaintiffs to succeed in their claims must be included to disclose a ‘cause of action’ and it does not ‘arise’ or ‘accrue’ until the last of such facts occurs.

The last of such facts is sometimes loosely spoken of as the ‘cause of action’.

Based on extracts from:

  • McKenzie v Farmers’ Co-operative Meat Industries Ltd 1922 AD 16.
  • Abrahamse & Sons v SA Railways and Harbours 1933 CPD 626,
  • Coetzee v SA Railways & Harbours1933 CPD 565 at 570 – 1;
  • Kings Transport v Viljoen 1954 (1) SA 133 (C) at 137.
  • Evins v Shield Insurance Co. Ltd 1980 (2) SA 838 (AD)
  • The Master v IL Black and Co. Ltd 1981 (4) SA 763 (CPD) per late P Tebbutt J (1924-2017).