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Freedom Front Plus e-toll case struck off roll

A last-ditch attempt by the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) to stop e-tolls has been struck off the roll at the high court in Pretoria.

"The matter is scrapped from the roll for a lack of urgency," said Judge Maria Jansen on Monday.

She said the applicant sought wide-reaching relief, and failed to make a proper case.

Jansen said the constitutional issues related to the case were complicated, and that it had implications for the separation of powers.

Roelof Du Plessis SC, for the FF Plus, submitted in court that the courts were mandated to ensure that all branches of government fulfilled their constitutional obligations.

"It is therefore not interference with separation of powers, but the right to apply the Constitution and the law, and to prevent violation … of the law," he said.

"The courts will generally not interfere in the normal operation of the legislative or the executive part of government, and the courts have no right to express any view on political choices and policy issues in the course of making legislation."

'Unlawful'
Du Plessis argued that the South African National Roads Agency Limited was not government, and that the implementation of e-tolls was an action "flowing from unlawful actions taken by government".

He said the urgency was that e-tolling would begin on Tuesday, and it would be an infringement on rights.

"What the respondents want is the money from e-tolls, and they are going to get it whether they comply with the Constitution or not."

Afterwards, FF Plus spokesperson Anton Alberts said the merits of the matter were not heard. "We are very disappointed … The merits of the case were not heard today. The matter is not necessarily dead."

Alberts said the party would decide on a way forward. A likely option was to put the matter up for review, which could take a few months. The decision was not in the public interest, he said.

The FF Plus was ordered to pay the costs of the application. – Sapa

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