25 July 2023 – The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has welcomed the Supreme Court of Appeal judgment, which dismissed with costs, two appeals against orders of the Gauteng Division of the High Court, Pretoria (case no 543/2021); and the KwaZulu-Natal Division of the High Court, Pietermaritzburg (case no 409/2022).
The first was an appeal against a winding-up order granted against the appellant, PFC Properties (Pty) Ltd (PFC), in favour of SARS, by the Pretoria High Court. The second appeal was against an order by the Pietermaritzburg High Court, in terms of which it dismissed an application to place PFC in business rescue.
The issue before the SCA was whether the conduct on the part of PFC and the De Robillard Family Trust’s trustees in launching the business rescue application, constituted an abuse of court process. The SCA held that that application should not have been considered by reason of its use in a scheme of abuse. The Court held that the business rescue application was a stratagem.