Compensation Solutions (Pty) Ltd v Compensation Commissioner

(072/2015) [2016] ZASCA 59 ; (2016) ILJ 1625 (13 April 2016) per Maya AP [Cachalia, Pillay, Petse and Dambuza JJA concurring]

SCA summary:

Contempt of court – repeated failure by the Compensation Commissioner to comply with a settlement order of which he was aware – settlement order has the full force of a court order – commissioner not establishing reasonable doubt that his non-compliance was not wilful and mala fide –appellant proved requisites for civil contempt of court and the commissioner’s committal to prison therefor.

Order

On appeal from: Gauteng Division of the High Court, Pretoria (Hughes J sitting as court of first instance):

(a) The appeal is upheld with costs including the costs of two counsel.

(b) Paragraph 1 of the order of the court a quo is set aside and replaced with the following:

‘1 The first respondent, Mr Shadrack Shivumba-Homu Mkhonto, is declared to be in contempt of paragraphs 1, 2, 5 and 6 of the court order of 31 July 2009 under case number 35047/2009.

2 The first respondent is accordingly sentenced to undergo three months’ imprisonment suspended for a period of five years on condition that he is not convicted of contempt of court committed within this period.

3 The first respondent is ordered to pay the costs of the application, such costs to include the costs of two counsel where employed, the costs reserved on 20 August 2013, 5 September 2013, 12 and  18 February 2014 and the costs of attending a meeting in Johannesburg on 7 August 2014.’