Meritless litigation against Free Market Foundation abandoned

Board chairman says applicant realized his case had no merit and that the 2020 board of organisation was legitimate

Meritless litigation against Free Market Foundation abandoned

25 March 2022

The Free Market Foundation has welcomed a decision of the litigant to abandon his lawsuit that challenged the legitimacy of the Free Market Foundation board that was elected in 2020.

The Foundation received word on the evening of 23 March 2022 that the matter had been withdrawn.

“While we are pleased that that case has been dropped, we are confident that the Free Market Foundation board would have been found to be legitimate had the case gone ahead,” says Rex van Schalkwyk, board chairman.

“The withdrawal of the matter affirms our confidence that we would have won the case on merit. The Foundation had lodged its heads of argument and was urging the applicant to reciprocate. His withdrawal indicates that he understood his case was baseless.”

The withdrawal of the matter enables the Free Market Foundation now to move ahead, without the distraction of defending a costly legal claim, in its advocacy of an open society, personal liberties, the rule of law, and economic and media freedom.

However, Van Schalkwyk says, the opposition to this matter has put financial pressure on the Foundation and has been demanding of the time and energy of its personnel. “Its withdrawal means we no longer need to pursue a defence. However, our response to the matter has cost money and we will pursue an order to recoup costs. The Free Market Foundation is a not-for-profit entity that relies almost exclusively on member support and donor funding. We owe it to these parties to recoup losses incurred in defending what is now revealed as baseless and ill-considered litigation.”

“We look forward to continuing our work, united and with resolve. Personal and economic liberties in South Africa face numerous threats. The Free Market Foundation will challenge these with the energy and vigour it has always invested in its advocacy work,” added Ayanda Khumalo, board deputy chairman.

Issued by Gail Day on behalf of the Free Market Foundation, 25 March 2022