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R699 car scandal: Judge rejects class-action bid

2014-08-22 10:24

CLASS-ACTION BID DISMISSED: Port Elizabeth High Court Judge Dayalin Chetty dismissed attorney Duncan Heuer’s application to have the R699 car owners certified as a class action. Image: SAPA

PORT ELIZABETH - The Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth has dismissed an application for a class action certification in the R699 car-scheme case, a lawyer representing consumers said on Friday (August 22).

Duncan Heuer said: "It was dismissed with costs. As the court held that the current matter does not lend itself to be pursued by way of class action, going forward consumers will now have to engage with their credit providers individually, whether they are legally represented or not."

PLANS TO APPEAL

Heuer said his firm, Pieterse Cary Finlaison, planned to appeal the cost order.

He said: "We respect the judgment handed down not to certify the consumers affected by the R699 car scheme as a class. We have, however, after careful consideration... taken a decision as a firm to file a notice of intention to seek leave to appeal the cost order made against the firm."

R699 CAR SCANDAL

A group comprising of 550 consumers, led by Heuer, approached the court to declare contracts between the banks and car buyers "null and void".

About 17 000 people were believed to have been affected by the scheme run by the Satinsky Group, which offered to cut repayments on new cars to R699, if drivers drove a minimum distance with pasted advertisements about the scheme on their vehicles.

The scheme collapsed in July 2014 with banks now calling for full repayments amounts not affordable for all those involved.

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