Makhowe Investment (Pty) Ltd v Usutu Pulp Company Ltd [1994] SZHC 93 (29 November 1994)

Case summary

This case interpreted the concept of urgency and interim relief pending the outcome of litigation in issues concerning an exclusive license to harvest and process wild mushrooms, according to the 1973 Wild Mushroom Control Order.

The respondents appeared in court pursuant to a rule nisi (an order to show cause) why they should not be interdicted from stopping the applicant from taking and processing wild mushrooms from Usutu Forest.

The court considered whether the application should be dismissed since the applicants had procured the urgency and interdict by failing to disclose material facts. The court found that there was no immediate urgency since the companies had been in discussion for a long time. It also found that the respondents were not given sufficient time to respond to the application.

The court interpreted the provisions of s. 4(1) of the order and held that the applicant’s license did not authorize intrusion into the respondent’s land without consent. Consequently, the applicants’ submissions were unsound and they had abused court’s processes.

The court held that the effect of an interim interdict was not to determine eventual rights of the parties. It found that the interdict placed an obligation on the respondents that was contrary to its rights and the respondent was entitled to costs thereof.

Accordingly, the application was dismissed.

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