Amendment to pleadings should be allowed, if there is no prejudice to the respondent

High Court of South Africa (Gauteng Division, Pretoria): A Single Judge Bench of M.L. Senyatsi, AJ., allowed an application seeking amendment of particulars of claim by virtue of Rule 28 of the Uniform Rules of Court.

The facts of the case being that the applicant while summoning the defendant relied on an agreement of the Joint Building Contracts Committee (JBCC) which was questioned in a special plea filed by the respondent. The respondent contended that the contract was incomplete and the applicant should have resorted to dispute resolution before approaching the court in accordance with the contract. In light of Rule 28 of the Uniform Rules of Court, the respondent opposed the amendment application stating the amendment would result into a new cause of action. Relying on judicial decisions, the Court viewed that by replacing the JBCC contract with an oral contract (as a result of amendment of pleadings), the nature of debt in question will not change and would not prejudice the respondent in anyway. [Satelite and Steel World CC v. Costa Zervas Project CC, Case No. 43147/2011, dated 22-06-2018]

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