Page:NCGLE v Minister of Home Affairs.djvu/85

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Ackermann J

[90]Mr Trengove submitted that the costs which should be awarded to the applicants in respect of the two abortive interlocutory applications in this Court should include the costs of two counsel and should be taxed on the scale as between attorney and own client for two reasons; first, because they constitute an abuse of court process and, second, because they are manifestly without merit.

[91]The fact that both applications are manifestly without merit appears from what has already been said. The High Court is rightly critical in its judgment of the conduct of the respondents in the High Court proceedings, their dilatory approach to the litigation, and their attempt at the last moment to delay the hearing of the case. The same criticism can be directed to their belated attempt to raise new issues through the two abortive interlocutory applications to which I have referred at the commencement of this judgment, and their failure to explain why, even at the stage of the hearing of the matter before this Court, they had for a period of over 14 months failed to lodge an answer to the factual averments made in the main application.

[92]The wasted costs occasioned by these applications form part of the costs which the respondents will be required to pay. What is in issue is whether the applications constitute an abuse of the process of the court which merits the making of an order that the costs of the applications be paid as between attorney and client.

[93]If the argument addressed to this Court by the respondents concerning the merits of the appeal had revealed the same lack of substance and apparent disregard for the rights of the applicants I would have had no hesitation in ordering them to pay costs as between attorney and