HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
GISELE FOUCREAULT 1st Respondent
CHURCH PROJECT 2nd Respondent
by the Hon. Acting Mr. Justice M.L. Lehohla on the 5th day of May,
POINTS RAISED IN LIMINE
April 1987, applicant in the above matter approached Court ex parte.
My brother Sir Peter Allen J. let a Rule Nisi issue
27th April 1987 but refused to make an interim interdict.
April 1987 Respondent filed simultaneously the following sets of
papers each of which bears proof of service on applicant's
of intention to oppose to which are attached 1st Respondent's
opposing affidavit and Annexure "A" the constitution
of Motion in terms of Rule 8(16) otherwise better referred to from
the point of view of its functional purpose as notice
for joinder of the 2nd Respondent,
Counter application to which are attached affidavits of Ntai Ramekau
and Mojansi Monkhe
series of Annexures marked "A" (again) through "T"
being invoices issued from Frasers Manufacturing Buy
informed from the bar that even before the filing of the counter
application referred to in (3) above the application for
2nd Respondent was granted
common cause that what is tabled before Court in these proceedings
are the main application and the counter application. A
their consolidation was granted.
application consists of a Notice of Motion wherein applicant set out
his prayers for a Rule Nisi calling upon 1st Respondent
to show cause
respondent shall not be restrained from entering applicant's
premises and removing building material kept and stored at
applicant's premises, pending a civil action to be instituted in the
respondent shall not be ordered to return the building material she
removed without applicant's consent to applicant's premises.
respondent shall not be ordered in the alternative to (a) and (b)
hereof, to pay applicant the sum of M21,000 rental owing.
respondent shall not be ordered to pay costs hereof.
applicant shall not be given such further and/or alternative relief
prayer 1(a) operate as an interim interdict with immediate effect,
pointed above although the rule nisi did issue prayer 2 was however
refused. If I may add my word to it, this was properly so.
counter application due to have been heard on
April 1987 pleaded for an order :-
the applicant's application in toto.
the applicant from preventing the 2nd respondent from removing all
its property from applicant's site.
the applicat to pay the costs of this application on an attorney and
and/or alternative relief.
against the above background that on 5th May 1987 Mr Nthethe for the
applicant in the main application or respondent in the
application (hereinafter, for the sake of simplicity, referred, to as
applicant) raised a point in limine against the
respondents in the
main application or applicants in the counter-application
(hereinafter referred to as 1st and 2nd respondents
as the case may
basis of his submissions in support of the points raised in limine
Mr. Nthethe pointed out that 1st Respondent Sister Gisele
opposing affidavit to the main application. In para. 17 thereof she
deposes that the same affidavit is in opposition to the
application and in support of the counter - application lodged by 2nd
Respondent - Reitumetse Church Project.
10 of applicant's replying affidavit applicant deposes as follows :-
"I notice that there is no authority from the
in the result this affidavit cannot be admissible for the Counter -
application as alleged."
In Para 2
of applicant's 1st opposing affidavit the applicant deposes and makes
it plain to 2nd respondent that:
"At the hearing, I shall apply to Court to expunge this
affidavit on grounds of lack of necessary Resolution."
adopted this attitude in response to Mojensi. Monkhe's affidavit and
clearly held in question the deponent's locus standi.
Nthethe contends that likewise 1st Respondent does not have the
necessary authority from 2nd Respondent in as much as 2nd Respondent
is an artificial person in respect of whom a resolution is a sine qua
non at litigation.
to the constitution of 2nd Respondent marked annexure "A"
applicant's counsel submitted that by agreeing to
be joined as a
co-respondent with the 1st respondent it assumed power to sue and be
sued which is one of the characteristics of
accordingly submitted on behalf of applicant that in the absence of
express authority 1st respondent could not depose to
an affidavit on
behalf of 2nd Respondent
were it to be assumed that through some mishap the express authority
was left out some reference to it by 1st Respondent
in her affidavit
would serve as a legitimate ground for concluding that 2nd
respondent's contention that it had authorised the
1st respondent to
act on its behalf would not be entirely baseless. Needless to say
that no resolution to that effect or at all
has been annexed.
that it is trite that if one deposes and brings action on behalf of
an artificial person he or she must do so by production
of proof of a
"properly worded resolutions Mr. Nthethe referred me to R.T.
Morrison (Pty) Ltd vs Belle 206 where at page 209
Mofokeng J. said :-
"There is no resolution of the company that it duly resolved to
institute proceedings against the respondent nor consequently
were instituted at its instance."
accept that the proposition is trite for as set out in Mall (Cape)
(Pty) Ltd vs Merino Ko-operasie Bpk. 1957(2) S.A. at
is a considerable amount of authority for the proposition that, where
a company commences proceedings by way of petition,
it must appear
that the person who makes the petition on behalf of the company is
duly authorised by the company to do so.
This seems to me to be a salutary rule end one which should apply
also to notice of motion proceedings
where the applicant is an
artificial person. In such cases some evidence should be pieced
before the court to show that the applicant
has duly resolved to
institute the proceedings and that the proceedings are instituted at
is a mere truism to urge that in a counter -application this
statement of the law should be observed, I think it is necessary
emphasise that the proposition is of equal force where any person
deposes to act on behalf of an artificial person who is respondent
Nthethe bringing to Court's attention the sympetheti attitude adopted
by Courts in accepting pleas couched in the phrase "I
duly authorised to bring these proceedings" which is a bare
allegation was quick to submit that in these proceedings
bare allegation is lacking and laid stress on the fact that when an
artificial person commences proceedings............................
appear that the person who makes the petition or affidavit on behalf
of the artificial person is duly authorised to do so."
prayed that the counter application be dismissed with costs to be
borne by deponents themselves.
response Miss Mofolo for respondents referred me to 1st respondent's
opposing affidavit at pare 2 which reads:
'"I am the Liaison officer of an Association known as Reitumetse
Church Project, herein-after referred to as the Association
being registered, which is a charitable non-profit making
further referred me to affidavits of Ramakau and Monkhe ad para 2
respectively the upshot of which is that the deponents are
General Director and Treasurer respectively of the committee of 2nd
respondent. She further referred me to Annexure "A",
Articles 4.2, 4.8 and 5.2 thereof setting out functions of the
Liaison officer under Article 4 and those of the Executive Committee
under Article 5.
Mofolo accordingly submitted that sweeping as these powers appear to
be in the constitution they nonetheless indicate that
had authority to bring the proceedings before this Court. She
attributed the absence of a proper resolution to the
haste with which
papers were drawn. To illustrate her point she submitted that service
on 1st Respondent was effected on 22nd April,
1987 requiring cause to
be shown on 27th April 1987. Thus she was left with only 2 days
within which to file opposing affidavit
because the other days were
non-dies i.e. Sunday and Saturday, Further that her client was served
only on Wednesday preceding the
Monday which was a return day. She
further stated that 1st respondent was informed of the need to file
the resolution and that
her attorneys duly prepared it and that it is
ready and at hand, however failure to file it of record she,
submitted, was the responsibility
of her office
she begged leave to hand in the resolution and submitted that this
would in no way prejudice applicant on the one hand
respondent would suffer incalculable harm on the other hand if it
cannot be allowed the indulgence
she submitted that the point in limine challenges the authority of
deponents but urged that such authority should be accepted
this late stage since the matter does not go to the merits of
Mr. Nthethe opposed the handing in of the resolution from the bar and
pointed out that compared with the bulk of papers
respondents the filing of the resolution if indeed it was ready for
filing at the time would have been a very light task
a resolutio of the type required in the present proceedings would
consist of less than half a page of standard
papers used in court.
submitted that it seems there was ample time within which to rectify
this irregularity. He pointed out that respondent's attorney
served with the opposing affidavit on 29th April but even as of 6th
May she had not filed the resolution notwithstanding the
under the Rules she is entitled to file replying affidavits to the
opposing affidavit filed in the Counter application.
Even at this
state respondents should have set out in such reply reasons for
failure to file their resolution while annexing it
at the same time;
but they didn't.
also urged on me not to lose sight of the fact that it was made clear
in the opposing affidavit that the 1st respondent's
locus standi was
held in question as early as 29th April 1987. Accordingly Mr, Nthethe
pointed out that the application on behalf
of respondents to submit
the resolution is an afterthought and therefore should not be
accepted. Vehemently contending that the
argument is invalid
handing over the resolution is not prejudicial he pointed out that
throughout these papers applicant has been saying that he
has bad no
dealings with 2nd respondent. Thus bringing in 2nd respondent into
the arena is going to prejudice the applicant, it
Nthethe submitted that it would create a dangerous precedent to allow
respondents' attorney to hand in this resolution despite
opportunity that she had to do so. Reiterating his earlier submission
on the point he invited the court to assume for the
sake of argument
that authority had initially been left out by misadvertence; and
posed the question that "couldn't in such
have been an averment in the affidavit that I depose to this
affidavit in my capacity as an employee of 2nd
respondent in terms of
whose resolution dated such and such I have been authorised to depose
as follows.............. "
read the papers, heard arguments and come to the conclusion that
articles referred to in Annexure "A" cannot serve
substitute for a properly worded resolution, In Morrison supra where
an attempt to read into the power of attorney the meaning
resolution ordinarily carries was rejected by Mofokeng J. in the
following terms :-
"It is quite obvious that this document is not the document
envisaged by my brother Rooney J. This document referred to above
of a general character."
CIV/APN/8/87 L.E.C. VS MOROJELE & OTHERS (unreported) an argument
by applicants' attorney that due to shortage of time provided
rules in the event that respondents in an ex parte application should
anticipate the rule nisi failed to file their relevant
rejected with costs.
I have no
doubt in holding the view that on arguments advanced it appears that
the filing of the resolution by 1st respondent on
behalf of 2nd
respondent is an afterthought to which she was awakened by
applicant's averments in his opposing affidavits to respondents'
of Court should be strictly adhered to. See C. of A. (CIV) No. 16 of
1984 Kutloano Building Construction vs Matsoso &
(unreported) at 7.
accordingly uphold with costs the application in limine For clarity I
should mention that costs are awarded against deponents
am not disposed to reject in toto the counter application.
Consequently while holding that 2nd respondent is not properly
court as 1st respondent has no authority to represent it I give an
order giving respondents an opportunity to correct their
within 21 days failing which the rule in the main application should
be confirmed in terms of prayers 1(a) (b) (c) end (c)
in the notice
of motion and that prayed for in the counter application discharged.
incurred by applicant/respondent in treating of the counter
application are awarded to him as well.
Applicant : Mr. Nthethe
Respondents: Miss Mofolo
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