APEX HOLDINGS (PVT) LTD v VENETIAN BLINDS
SPECIALISTS LTD

SUPREME COURT, HARARE

[Civil Appeal SC 33-15]

March 23 and June 25, 2015

GWAUNZA, GOWORA and GUVAVA JJA

Practice and procedure – Applications and motions – Postponement - Nature of application for - Requirements to be met.

Interest - On foreign judgment - Applicable principle in the absence of proof.

On the hearing date of an appeal against a judgment of the High Court, without affording the other side the courtesy of a prior warning, appellant applied for a postponement on the basis that it had decided to directly approach the Constitutional Court for redress. No details of the intended application were placed before the court.

In relating to the substance of the matter, the court observed on the principle that is applicable when interest is claimed on a foreign judgment which is being registered as a judgment of the High Court.

Held, that an application for the postponement of a matter which has been set down for hearing is in the nature of an indulgence sought, the grant of which is in the discretion of the judge or court before which it is made. The applicant must therefore show that there is good cause for the postponement or that there is a likelihood of prejudice if the court refuses the indulgence being sought.

Held, further, that in granting a postponement a court exercises a discretion and such must be exercised judicially. The court should be slow to refuse an application for postponement where the reasons for the applicant’s inability to proceed have been fully explained.

Held, further, that a party who fails to place an alternative position before a trier of fact cannot when findings of fact have eventually been made allege a misdirection.

Held, further, that when registering a foreign judgment, in the absence of proof to the contrary interest at the prescribed rate can be claimed and allowed either as from the date of summons in the matter or as from the date of judgment eventually rendered.

Cases cited:

McCarthy Retail Ltd v Shortdistance Carriers CC 2001 (3) SA 482 (SCA), applied

Persadh and Another v General Motors South Africa (Pty) Ltd 2006 (1) SA 455 (SE), applied

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