Pienaar’s actions against PWC began in 2013 with an application that was dismissed with costs by the high court in 2014. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi
Pienaar’s actions against PWC began in 2013 with an application that was dismissed with costs by the high court in 2014. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Former broker with a beef against PWC declared a vexatious litigant by the court

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Sep 17, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court has declared former financial broker Deon Pienaar “a vexatious litigant” after the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) sued Pienaar for persistently initiating a string of legal actions against them.

If a litigant is declared a vexatious, this does not mean that the court doors are closed for them, just that their cases need to be monitored more closely and the court must first be satisfied that the proceedings are not an abuse of the court process and that there are genuine grounds for the proceedings

Pienaar’s actions against PWC began in 2013 with an application that was dismissed with costs by the high court in 2014. A year later the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) refused him special leave to appeal the high court’s dismissal.

In October 2015, Pienaar again applied to High Court against PWC seeking a review of the judgment of the 2013 application. That too was dismissed which led Pienaar to the Constitutional Court to appeal both previous high court dismissals of his case.

The Constitutional Court also dismissed the appeal which then had Pienaar go back and forth thrice between the Concourt and the SCA losing in all his bids, between then and February 2020.

Court papers show that Pienaar has over the years made allegations of fraud, dishonesty and impropriety against PWC, the South African Reserve Bank, Prudential Authority, legal representatives and the legal fraternity in relation to failed property syndication schemes where he hopes to help investors to recover all their money with interest.

In the founding affidavit, Pienaar is described as someone who Is unemployed, conducting litigation on his own behalf and/or on behalf of others, on a full-time basis. Pienaar did not object to this description

Passing judgment, Acting Judge Constance Nziweni, of the Western Cape High Court, said Pienaar’s actions were an abuse of the process of court.

She said that despite the fact that the history of litigation between the PWC and Pienaar has been marked by his losing, it appeared that he had succeeded in enlisting support and his investors were still fully behind him.

“What is more, tragically the first respondent and his investors assume that it is perfectly acceptable and normal for the first respondent to represent their cause in courts, even though he has no background in litigation.

“The irony of this is that at times the first respondent wants to use the lack of legal knowledge for his litigation woes.

“Under the circumstances, it is quite bizarre that Pienaar, who has been unsuccessful with his applications in the past; keeps on filing further proceedings against the applicant. His persistence to litigate against PWC is highly illuminating.

“I get the distinct impression that Pienaar harbours a strong view that in his quest of incessant litigation, he is only losing the battles but he will ultimately win the war because of his persistence.” said Judge Nziweni.

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