08 October 2018 - NW2786
Cardo, Dr MJ to ask the Minister of Economic Development
(1)What (a) total amount has the Competition Commission paid to Ndzabandzaba since the firm started doing work for the commission and (b) are the details of the (i) scope and (ii) nature of the work that the specified firm has conducted for the commission; (2) whether the work of the specified firm included the active participation in the so-called dawn raids conducted by the commission; if so, what are the relevant details?
I have been furnished with a reply by the Commissioner of the Competition Commission, Mr Tembinkosi Bonakele, to the question, which follows below:
“(1a) The Commission has paid the firm R 71 686 012.28, which includes payments made to various Advocates as well as VAT, for the period January 2015 to August 2018. The sum comprises of the following components:
Fees paid to attorneys: R50,7m
Fees paid to advocates: R11,8m
Ndzabandzaba Attorneys was briefed on 31 cartel cases. For completeness, some of these cases involved a number of respondents per case. For example, the Furniture Removal case involved 46 respondents engaged in over 7000 separate instances of collusion, the Automotive Components case involved 61 respondents engaged in 310 separate instances of collusion, whilst the Foreign Exchange (Forex) case involves 23 respondents, among others.
(1b) The nature and the scope of work rendered by the law firm include assisting the Commission with prosecution of cartel cases, negotiating and concluding settlement agreements on behalf of the Commission, giving legal advice on cartel cases and briefing legal counsel to appear at the Tribunal and higher courts on behalf of the Commission. Ndzabandzaba Attorneys has also assisted the Commission with High Court applications for search warrants.
The majority of cartel cases handled by Ndzabandzaba Attorneys have been resolved through prosecution and settlement that were confirmed by the Competition Tribunal. The law firm successfully negotiated settlements to the amount R594 million and has a 100% success rate on prosecutions at the Competition Tribunal thus far.
(2) Yes, the work included active participation in the so-called dawn raids conducted by the Commission. The Commission briefed Ndzabandzaba Attorneys to prepare applications for search warrants in the High Courts.
The firm provided the above mentioned services in respect of the following cases between 2015 and 2017:
- CC v Stuttaford Van Lines and Others
- CC v Totalgaz Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd and Others
- CC v PG Bison (Pty) Ltd and Another
- CC v Maersk South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Others
- CC v Fresh Produce Market Agents
- CC v Beefcor (Pty) Ltd and Others
- CC v Wilmar Continental Edible Oils and Fats (Pty) Ltd and Others
- CC v Altech UEC South Africa (Pty) Ltd and Others
- CC v ASIB and its Members
The High Courts granted all the applications for the search warrant in respect of the above cases made by Ndzabandzaba Attorneys on behalf of the Commission. Where warrants were challenged these were successfully defended except in one case where the decision is still subject to an appeal process.”