The SCA found that the chairperson of the Gauteng Gambling Board had resorted to a stratagem of employing power of regulation for an ulterior purpose. She failed also to consider the confines of the statutory provisions on which she relied, and did so without due regard for the consequences on the fiscus and on transparent and accountable governance. She acted beyond her legal powers and contrary to the principles of legality. She was the MEC who the court decided, had "in the responses to the opposition by the board, appeared indignant and played the victim. She adopted this attitude while acting in flagrant disregard of constitutional norms. She attempted to turn turpitude into rectitude".
A special costs order, on the attorney and client scale, was granted. Unfortunately, it is the taxpayer who ultimately has to pay them.
It is time for courts to seriously consider holding officials, who behave in the high handed manner described above, personally liable for costs incurred and to ensure that their "employer" does pay on their behalf. This might be a deterrent. Regrettably, in the present case, it was not asked for and therefore not considered.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.