South African wine grape producers, cellars and other wine-related businesses representative body Vinpro said yesterday that it was disappointed by the postponement of a case set to be heard in the Western Cape High Court yesterday and today. Picture: Nic Bothma / EPA
South African wine grape producers, cellars and other wine-related businesses representative body Vinpro said yesterday that it was disappointed by the postponement of a case set to be heard in the Western Cape High Court yesterday and today. Picture: Nic Bothma / EPA

Wine business body Vinpro disappointed by court postponement

By Given Majola Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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DURBAN - SOUTH African wine grape producers, cellars and other wine-related businesses representative body Vinpro said yesterday that it was disappointed by the postponement of a case set to be heard in the Western Cape High Court yesterday and today.

The legal challenge was brought by Vinpro against South Africa’s national government, where it said it was accordingly contesting specific aspects of decision-making in respect of liquor bans. It was postponed to August.

Vinpro managing director Rico Basson said they were extremely disappointed by the postponement of this court case, forced by the late filing and incorporation of additional affidavits that it said were not related to the main thrust of Vinpro’s challenge, effectively a forced the postponement.

“Because the case was to be postponed, new available dates for the legal teams and judges allocated to the matter had to be found. National government is also represented by three teams of advocates and an earlier date suitable to all of the advocates could not be found,” said Basson.

He said Vinpro had objected from the outset against the large contingent of advocates representing the national government.

“It is indeed ironic that national government is paying for so many lawyers when they say in the court papers they do not have sufficient resources to police more targeted lockdown measures, such as manning roadblocks and imposing bans only in hot-spot areas.”

In the event that a further ban was introduced before the next court date, Vinpro said it would exercise its right to seek urgent interim relief from the Cape High Court, asking it to afford the Premier of the Western Cape the power to adopt deviations to enable the off-and-on consumption sale of liquor in the province.

Ultimately, similar relief would be sought in respect of other provinces.

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