competition appeal court

Babelegi Workwear and Industrial Supplies CC v. The Competition Commission

Open Secrets and Health Justice Initiative joint amici submission in South Africa’s first contested excessive pricing case in the Competition Appeal Court (CAC)

This is the first contested excessive pricing case in South Africa, which has been taken on appeal to the CAC. The CAC’s decision will have important consequences for how all companies are held accountable for their pricing in this pandemic, and how the public will be protected.

An amicus is a ‘friend of the court’ – a joint amici means more than one organisation is applying together, to be friends of the court in the same matter. In this appeal, Open Secrets (OS) and the Health Justice Initiative (hj)i sought permission and were jointly admitted as amici. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has also been admitted as a separate amicus in this appeal.

This was the first Covid-19 related case of excessive pricing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be referred to the Competition Tribunal. The Tribunal found Babelegi guilty of excessive pricing on face masks and issued a fine of R76 000. Babelegi is appealing the decision.  The Competition Appeal Court will also consider the application of the amended section 8 of the Competition Act for the first time.  It does so in an unprecedented context of a worldwide pandemic.

In a judgement dated 18 November 2020, the appeal by BABELEGI WORKWEAR AND INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES CC (“Babelegi”) against a decision of the Competition Commission and a finding of excessive pricing by the Competition Tribunal dated 1 June 2020, was dismissed. 

Read our press statement here

judgement

On the 18th of November 2020, the Competition Appeal Court (CAC) dismissed Babelegi’s appeal in this matter.
Open Book

expert evidence

This is a matter involving constitutional issues. As the Constitutional Court has previously pointed out, constitutional matters present issues that have an impact beyond the parties directly litigating before the Court. We have argued that our evidence provides the factual foundation and context for our legal submissions. The evidence of our 4 expert witnesses support our case that an exceptional, and human-rights based, approach to excessive pricing jurisprudence is warranted in the context of a pandemic.

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HJI and Open Secrets Application

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HJI and Open Secrets Application

Heads of argument (application to adduce evidence)

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HJI and Open Secrets Application

Open Secrets confirmatory affidavit (application to adduce evidence)

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HJI and Open Secrets Application

Founding affidavit (application to adduce evidence)

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HJI and Open Secrets Application

Notice of Motion

Babelegi

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Babelegi

Heads of argument

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Babelegi

Heads of argument in response to first and second amici submissions

South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

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SAHRC

Heads of argument

Competition Commission

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Competition Commission

Heads of argument

fact sheets

frequently asked questions and a summary of our amicus intervention