ConCourt sets aside grain company's order
THE Supreme Court of Appeal erred in overturning a ruling by the Competition Tribunal that grain storage company Senwes was being anti-competitive, the Constitutional Court ruled
In a majority judgment the court held that the Supreme Court of Appeal erred in concluding that a complaint relating to a contravention of Section 8(c) of the Competition Act was not part of the referral.
Justice Chris Jafta pointed out that the error committed by the Competition Tribunal was to call the breach a margin squeeze, a term not used in the Act.
The order granted by the Supreme Court of Appeal was set aside and the Tribunal's ruling was amended by deleting reference to margin squeeze.
The legal battle between Senwes and the Competition Commission landed in the Constitutional Court when the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by the tribunal that Senwes was being anti-competitive.
The Supreme Court of Appeal held that the margin squeeze complaint was not part of the complaints referred to the Tribunal and as a result the Tribunal had no authority to determine that complaint.
The Commission challenged this judgment, saying it was clear to everyone that one of the charges against Senwes was margin squeezing.
The Constitutional Court heard the matter in November last year.
At the hearing the Commission submitted that the Tribunal was free to consider the charge of margin squeezing under its powers.
In a dissenting judgment, Justice J Froneman held that the matter should be referred back to the Tribunal for re-hearing.