Hardie v Jansen (19339/2014) [2015] ZAWCHC 104 (30 July 2015) per Goliath J.

On 8 April 2014 the High Court appointed a curator ad litem to report to Court on whether an elderly man diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease was capable of managing his affairs and had the capacity to enter into a valid contract of marriage.  The curator also had to assess whether it would be appropriate to annul the marriage. At the time of his death on 19 May 2014 the curator had interviewed the relevant parties and was requested to complete her report which was duly  completed on 29 May 2014.  The High Court held that the curator remained an officer of the Court until discharged.  In other words the curator was fully empowered to investigate the circumstances of the purported marriage of the deceased and her report was relevant to the proceedings.  As officers of the High Court curators are obliged to assist the Court in determining matters.  In particular curators are expected to advance arguments in favour of those whom they represent and are not expected to adopt an ‘objective’ standpoint.

See

  • Ex Parte Glendale Sugar Millers (Pty) Ltd [1973] 1 All SA 332; 1973 (2) SA 653 (N) at 659 H and
  • Du Plessis NO v Strauss [1988] 4 All SA 115; 1988 (2) SA105(A) at 120 A-D) per Van Heerden JA.