Thousands of South Africans facing traffic fines could potentially have their respective offences negated when the Port Elizabeth High Court decides whether incorrectly cited and administered traffic summonses are still legally binding.
Pieter Swanepoel of Traffic Violation Specialists is taking on the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the National Director of Public Prosecutions and Traffic Management Technologies to stop the issuing of all fines by the municipality until the matter is resolved, The Herald reports.
In addition, he is asking that all fines issued “illegally” by the municipality from January 2015 to be scrapped, with all affected motorists being refunded in full.
Swanepoel, alongside lawyer Carolyn Ah Shene-Verdoorn and Advocate BC Harker, are basing their case on the fact that the content of summonses and notices sent to offending motorists are often erroneous and do not comply with proper citation requirements as set out in the Criminal Procedures Act.
As such, their failure to comply with the drafting standards set out in the Act and subsequent failure to correctly inform motorists of their wrongdoing means they should be treated as invalid.
While the judgement will only be held as binding on the respective municipality, the High Court’s decision would set a precedent which would then be considered across the country.
This could inform all further cases in which traffic fines were not issued according to the exact letter of the law.