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Pitso and Others vs. Chabeli Molatoli Attorneys - (12 Jun 2024)

An applicant for a final interdict must show a clear rightan injury actually committed or reasonably apprehended and absence of similar protection by any other remedy


The central issue in present appeal is whether the first Appellant, Mrs. Polo Susan Pitso (Mrs Pitso), the widow and executrix in the estate of the late Mr.Likano John Pitso (the deceased), was entitled to terminate the mandate of the Respondent, a firm of attorneys, Chabeli Molatoli Attorneys Incorporated, who was responsible for the administration of the deceased’s estate. The appeal is with leave of the High Court.

An applicant for a final interdict must show a clear right; an injury actually committed or reasonably apprehended; and the absence of similar protection by any other remedy.The respondent simply failed to make out a case for the relief sought. It did not establish the requisites for the grant of a final interdict, more specifically a clear right and the absence of an adequate alternative remedy. A final interdict is extraordinary robust relief. It is therefore important that, the applicant establish all the requisites for such an interdict.

The Respondent is not without a remedy. If Mrs. Pitso’s termination of the mandate prejudiced the Respondent, its remedy lies in a claim for damages. After all, its claim is nothing more than one for payment of its fees. One can just imagine the chaos that would result if every attorney whose mandate is terminated were to approach court for an order that his or her services be retained.

The high court did not make an order for the removal of Mrs. Pitso as an executrix of the estate. In any event, the allegations in the founding affidavit that Mrs. Pitso ‘acted in her own interest and not in the interests of the creditors of the estate’ is not supported by any facts. The appeal is upheld with costs.


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