CONSTITUTIONAL COURT WEAKENS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATION AGAINST THE PROSECTUTION OF A PROHIBITED PRACTICE MORE THAN THREE YEARS AFTER IT HAS CEASED

Author: Lesetja Morapi

  1. On 24 June 2020, the Constitutional Court (“Court”) issued its decision in the Competition Commission’s appeal from the Competition Appeal Court (“CAC”) in Competition Commission v Pickfords Removals SA (Pty) Ltd (CCT123/19) [2020] ZACC 14. The judgment dealt with:

1.1 the effective date of complaint initiation into a prohibited practice in circumstances where a firm was only expressly identified as a party to the prohibited practice by an amendment to an original complaint initiation which did not expressly name that firm;

1.2 whether s67(1) of the Competition Act, 1998 provides an absolute time-bar against the initiation of a complaint in respect of prohibited conduct by the Commission more than 3 years after the cessation of the prohibited practice, or if it is merely a procedural time-bar capable of condonation; and

1.3 if s67(1) only provides a procedural time-bar, whether s58(1)(c) of the Competition Act provides the Competition Tribunal (“Tribunal”) with the statutory power to condone non-compliance with s67(1). Continue reading