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Lupacchini NO and Another v Minister of Safety and Security (16/2010) [2010] ZASCA 108

18th September 2010

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The Trust Property Control Act prohibits a trustee of a trust from acting in that capacity without first being authorised by the Master of the High Court to do so. Today the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) held that where trustees institute legal proceedings without such authorisation the proceedings are a nullity.

The case arose from an action that was brought against the Minister of Safety and Security by the trustees of a family trust for damages alleged to have been sustained by the trust. The Minister objected to the proceedings on the grounds that the trustees had not been authorised to act in that capacity at the time the action was commenced.

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The Free State High Court held that the proceedings were nonetheless valid. On appeal to a Full Court of that division the decision was overturned. A further appeal to the SCA upheld the decision of the Full Court, bringing to an end controversy that had previously existed on the issue.

 

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