ES v JS [2024] ZAGPJHC 1751

Judgment from the Johannesburg High Court.

The applicant launched an application for rescission of judgment, and ancillary relief relating to forfeiture, 12 years after the decree of divorce was granted in 2011.

The parties were married in community of property and the respondent had instituted divorce proceedings in the Regional Court in May 2010. The applicant was unrepresented, and filed a notice of intention to defend in December 2010 and thereafter a plea. In April 2012 the applicant was served with a decree of divorce from the Johannesburg High Court, granted on an unopposed basis on 18 November 2011, in terms of which the applicant was to forfeit her share of the immovable property and the respondent’s pension funds. The applicant avers that she was never served a summons in this division, and that she approached Monama Attorneys who had assured her that a recission application would be launched and that there would be no further litigation.

The Court accepted the applicant’s explanation for the delay in bringing the application and found it to be in the interests of justice to grant condonation. The Court stated that the circumstances in which the respondent acquired a decree of divorce were suspicious, and that the respondent did not come to court with clean hands. The divorce order was rescinded and set aside.

ES v JS [2024] ZAGPJHC 1751

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