After the judgment given by Judge Desai in the University of Stellenbosch legal aid case there has been much confusion with regard to the garnishee orders. There has been a suggestion to amend the Magistrates Court Act and the Department of Justice has drafted an amendment bill to the legislation. There has been some horrific abuse against the consumers and especially detrimental to the vulnerable public who have had their economic rights abused.
However, the attachment orders are not automatically, at this stage, withdrawn and as currently advised companies do need to continue deducting monies from their employees pay unless otherwise instructed by a court of law.
Some of the Department of Labour Inspectors are under the erroneous belief that the current situation means that there can be no deductions from salaries and are advising employers to immediately stop all deductions. This will mean that many employers fall foul of court judgments and might expose them to company liability in due course.
The situation certainly does call for urgent amendments whereby the judgement can only be obtained where the debtor resides or is employed and where the court in fact has satisfied itself that the amount deducted will leave with the debtor sufficient means to maintain himself and his dependents.