North Global Properties (Pty) Ltd v Body Corporate of the Sunrise Beach Scheme (12465/2011) [2012] ZAKZDHC 47; [2013] JOL 30400(17 August 2012) per Dhaya Pillay J.

The High Court granted an order setting aside the body corporate’s application for leave to appeal.  The developer applied in terms of rule 30(1) of the Uniform Rules of Court to set aside the application because the body corporate and the trustees had taken an irregular step by failing to deliver a proper power of attorney.  The developer applied in terms of rule 7(1) to dispute the authority of the attorneys acting for the body corporate after an administrator had also been appointed.  The body corporate purported to comply by delivering a power of attorney on behalf of the body corporate and the trustees, supported by a resolution of the trustees.  But the developer argued successfully that all 17 members of the body corporate had to agree and not merely the four trustees, because in terms of the rules  trustees could not incur expenses exceeding R50,000.00 without the prior approval of the members.

See Body corporate: Trustees ordered to pay costs where the earlier decision is reported.

Excerpt

[6]        I agree with the full bench that rule 7(1) requires a broad interpretation having regard to the purpose of the rule.   The purpose of the rule is, on the one hand, to avoid cluttering the pleadings unnecessarily with resolutions and powers of attorneys.   On the other hand, it provides a safeguard to prevent a person who is cited from repudiating the process and denying his or her authority for issuing the process.[1]  Rule 7 can be invoked any time before judgment.   It is a practical rule which mostly turns out to be compliance with a procedural formality.  In this case it is not merely a procedural formality.  It impacts substantively on the pockets of all the members of the Body Corporate, including the opposition Northglobal.

[1] Erasmus Superior Court Practice Rule 7(b)(1) – 59