Show simple item record 2017-04-08T17:13:11Z 2017-04-08T17:13:11Z 2010-05-17 en
dc.identifier.citation [2010] ZACC 28
dc.identifier.citation 2011 (4) BCLR 329 (CC)
dc.identifier.citation 2011 (3) SA 92 (CC)
dc.title Bernert v Absa Bank Limited en
dc.title.alternative CCT37/10 en
dc.identifier.casenumber CCT37/10 en 19 August 2010
dc.contributor.judge Ngcobo CJ 9 December 2010
dc.concourt.synopsis Application for leave to appeal against the judgment and order of the Supreme Court of Appeal. The applicant alleged that the SCA was biased against him on several grounds, namely, one of the judges held shares in Absa Bank; two judges had a prior association with Absa Bank; the manner in which the presiding judge conducted the proceedings; and the factual findings made by the SCA were so unreasonable that they could only be explained on the basis of bias. The Court held that where there is a realistic possibility that the outcome of proceedings will affect a judicial officer's interest in the proceedings or interest in a party to the proceedings, the judicial officer must recuse himself or herself. It held, however, that a reasonably informed litigant would not reasonably apprehend that a judicial officer would not bring an impartial mind to bear in adjudicating a case simply because the judicial officer has shares in a litigant company. The Court held that the outcome of this case could not realistically impact in any significant way the share price of Absa Bank and therefore there was no basis for a reasonable apprehension of bias. The Court also held that a complaint of bias must be brought within a reasonable time period. Here, the applicant unreasonably delayed in bringing his complaint. The Court held that there was no obligation on the two judges to disclose their prior association as there was no reasonable apprehension of bias because the subject-matter of the litigation did not arise from the prior association. Turning to the conduct of and remarks made by the presiding judge during the proceedings in the SCA, the Court held that, if true, they amounted to no more than irritation or impatience and could not give rise to an apprehension of bias. On the final issue, the Court held that the applicant's complaints of erroneous factual findings were not borne out by the record. The Court accordingly dismissed the appeal. Judgment: Ngcobo CJ (unanimous).
dc.concourt.casehistory Application for leave to appeal against the judgment and order of the Supreme Court of Appeal: Absa Bank Limited v Enrico Bernert, Case No 99/09, Supreme Court of Appeal, 29 March 2010, unreported. The SCA had upheld an appeal against the decision of the North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria Rico Bernert v Absa Bank Limited, Case No 14302/03, Transvaal Provincial Division, 15 October 2008, unreported.

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