Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Tribunal comes up with ‘novel remedy’ in Clover case

The Competition Tribunal said on Wednesday that although it ruled that two summonses issued by the Competition Commission against Woodlands and Milkwood milk processors in the Clover milk price-fixing case were void for being “vague and over-broad”, it had imposed a novel remedy in the case.

It made a preservation order requiring its registrar to retain copies of the documents seized until the commission determined whether it wished to issue a new summons that complied with the law.

“A preservation order is issued to balance the right to privacy against the interests of the administration of justice,” the tribunal said.

It said that the two processors challenged the right of the Competition Commission to use evidence against them, allegedly obtained from an unauthorised summons and subsequent interrogation of their respective executives.

“They also alleged that the referral against them was unlawful and asked for it to be set aside.”

The tribunal said that a further challenge was that Count 5 had not been validly referred by the commission against Woodlands, because it had not been preceded by an administrative procedure called a complaint initiation.

“They also sought an order that the evidence elicited from the summons whether oral or documentary could not be used by the respondents in ‘any hearing before the tribunal’.”

In the course of the hearing, several technical arguments were also addressed as to the validity of the commission’s conduct.

The tribunal ruled that the two summonses were void for vagueness in that they failed to allege sufficient particularity concerning the alleged prohibited practices that gave rise to the search.

The tribunal as a result did not consider it necessary to consider any of the other technical issues raised because of this conclusion.

The tribunal found in favour of the commission in respect of Count 5 and held that it had been validly initiated prior to referral.

Late last year the tribunal, and on appeal the Competition Appeal Court, had to determine a challenge raised by Clover and Ladismith as to whether the complaint had been initiated timeously.

The tribunal decided it had, and the Competition Appeal Court (CAC) confirmed the decision on appeal.

The CAC refused leave to appeal and Clover and Ladismith have petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal to grant them leave. — I-Net Bridge

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Local elections 2021: A visual guide to what to expect

What are the biggest election issues where you live? M&G explains all

South Africa must approach its energy transition pragmatically

A sensible climate policy must balance the imperative of decarbonisation, socioeconomic policy and security of supply considerations

Steel strike: Workers struck while the iron was hot

After almost three weeks, labour and employers have reached a deal — setting the steel industry back on its path to recovery

Why handing over ICC suspects could help Sudan’s transition

A failed coup in September, weeks of brinkmanship, and a looming crisis in eastern Sudan have laid bare tensions between civilians and military leaders
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×