Practice – Special plea - Evidence to be led to establish facts – Special plea not a bearer of facts – Insufficient for a party to plea legal basis without supporting facts.

Labour Law – Appeal against the arbitration award filed out of the prescribed period of time – Application for condonation for the late filing of such appeal filed – Respondents failed to file their grounds of opposition required by rule 17(16)(b) of the Labour Court Rules – Parties’ agreement to overlook the non-compliance with the Rules cannot be considered as condonation – Rule 17(16)(b) is mandatory and requires strict comp

Labour Law – appeal in terms of s 86(2) and (3) of the Labour Act, 2007, read with rule 7 and 14 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Rules (‘Con-Arb rules) – prescription of because of dispute being lodged after the 6 month period prescribed in the Act – imperative to serve dispute before referral documents on party affected before lodging same with the Office of the Labour Commissioner.

Contracts – Suretyship – Release from surety – Can a member who terminated membership from a close corporation still be liable under the surety signed while still a member – Who has the power to release a surety from liability – One can only be released from surety obligation by the creditor and if no such approval is granted, the member remains bound by the surety – Second defendant was not released by the plaintiff from surety, thus, remain

Where a party applies for condonation for the late noting of an appeal, it should do so after the said appeal has been noted.  An appeal against a decision of the Labour Commissioner must be made within 30 days after the party has gained knowledge of the said award in terms of section 89 of the Labour Act.  Where there has been no proper appeal noted, there cannot be an application to condone as there will be nothing to condone.