1. This matter concerns two applications, namely, (i) an application in terms of rule 33(4) to separate from the other issues, the special pleas of prescription that have been raised by one or another defendant (being one or another of the respondents cited in these proceedings) in four separate actions instituted by Transnet Soc Limited (‘Transnet’) against the cited defendants in each respective action; and (ii) an application in terms of rule 11 to consolidate the hearing of the special pleas so that the issue of prescription may be determined at one consolidated hearing in the event that a separation of issues in each action is ordered. In other words, the consolidation sought by the applicant (plaintiff in the individual actions) is conditional upon the separation application pertaining to each of the four individual actions succeeding.
2. The eighth respondent, Gary Pita (‘Pita’) opposes the separation application in three of the actions in which he is cited as a defendant, being the actions instituted under case numbers 41666/2018; 44041/2018 and 44043/2018. As he is not a party to the action instituted under case number 44359/2018, he did not participate in the separation application pertaining to that matter. Additionally, Pita has only raised a special plea of prescription in the action instituted under case number 41666/2018.