Law firm offers free lawyer for first e-toll case

Sanral said if debt collection failed, the Criminal Procedure Act would come into effect and motorists would receive summons to that effect. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Sanral said if debt collection failed, the Criminal Procedure Act would come into effect and motorists would receive summons to that effect. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The first driver not to comply with e-tolls will have a free lawyer from Findlay & Niemeyer, the legal firm said on Monday.

The offer followed the South African National Road Agency's (Sanral's) warning to motorists to pay within seven days of receiving e-toll bills or be handed over to debt collectors, the firm's senior partner John Price said.

"In defending the test case, we will act on a contingency basis in the sense that we will charge no fees to the client and call for no deposit," he said.

"The prospective test case client, and the basis of his or her complaint, would need to be carefully selected to ensure that the real toll road issues are put cogently before the court."

E-tolling to commence
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced on Wednesday that e-tolling on Gauteng's highways would begin on December 3.

The Democratic Alliance said it was "a sad day" for Gauteng and the country that government had ignored public opposition to the tolling.

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) chairperson Wayne Duvenage said the e-tolling system was doomed to fail. It was inefficient, irrational and would enrich overseas companies at the expense of motorists, he said.

A legal challenge to e-tolling by Outa was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal in October.

On Sunday, Sanral chief executive Nazir Alli said if debt collection failed the Criminal Procedure Act would come into effect and motorists would receive summons to that effect. – Sapa

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