OUTA Will Take eToll Battle to Constitutional Court, if it can get Funding

The anti-eToll Alliance OUTA made it clear today that if it can get the funding, it will take its battle against the planned tolls to the Constitutional Court. OUTA boss Wayne Duvenage told a media briefing that the pressure group will decide the way forward at a meeting on Monday. This follows a major legal setback, with the Supreme Court rejecting the latest legal challenge to the new tolls. Duvenage warned that whatever happens on the legal front, the enforcing of eTolling will be impossible, with the authorities being forced to deal with numerous defaulters per month. He suggested that the Supreme Court had rejected OUTA’s latest appeal largely on the technical basis that there had been too long a delay in challenging eTolls – so the decision was not on the merits of the case. “OUTA and road users still have no clarity on the lawfulness of eTolling. It remains open to any citizen to lawfully decide not to pay eTolls,” he said. “We are bitterly disappointed the Supreme Court took the decision it did. This will be felt most acutely by persons with low income.” He said OUTA has a couple of avenues open to it – it could take this matter to the Constitutional Court, and has been advised there are solid grounds for an appeal. But there is a shortage of funds. “We are 1.5m rand short, and another appeal will be around 1.5m rand,” he explained. “Maybe there is an organisation or an individual who will fund us? It is not impossible that one, two or three individuals will help us see the light of day in the Constitutional Court.” He said that if this is decided against, OUTA would still be able to support one or more individuals who go to court once tolls are implemented – something that is expect before the end of this year. Duvenage pointed to the backing the anti-eToll movement has received from political parties, business, the unions and religious organisations. He emphasised that the cost of eToll collection and administration is over 30% of the fee, and he charged that roads agency Sanral made just a cursory glance in consideration of a fuel levy, which is the chosen alternative way of funding the Gauteng highways of most protestors. “Sanral’s Achilles heel might be their blind obsession to enforce eTolls against the opposition of the people,” he warned. “It is not a legal requirement to get an eTag. The chances of this working and being enforced, and being practically applicable, are slim. It doesn’t work in other parts of the world. Passive resistance in the form of exercising your legal rights – if enough people do that, this system will collapse. Don’t rush out (and buy an eTag); you don’t need to rush out. You can wait and see what happens. We are convinced that sufficient numbers of citizens will be defiant. There are so many avenues for non-compliance that I believe we are seeing the birth of a full-scale tax revolt by society. They are going to arrest people, use force. There will be patrols. This is aggression expressed towards society, the same aggression that was used in the apartheid era. Sanral needs to spell out clearly the full enforcement process. Are they seriously going to arrest people who don’t pay?”

Tweet of the Day:
Political Humor (@PoliticalLaughs): Q. What’s an example of irony? A. Bruce Springsteen singing "Born in the USA" at Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Puns (@omgthatspunny): Just went to an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.

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