In the News

18
May

MAY / MEI 2018

HSAG NEWS FLASH

Click here to read the HSAG’s reply to Orthotouch’s Media Statement.

HSAG Management Committee

18 MAY 2018

 

HSAG NEWS FLASH

15 MAY 2018

Five Supreme Court of Appeal Judges had harsh words for Mr Nic Georgiou and Orthotouch on Tuesday 8 May 2018 when their legal teams appeared before five judges to argue their appeals against the judgements of the Pretoria and Johannesburg High Courts.

Even before argument got under way, Judge Mahomed Navsa posed difficult questions for the counsel representing Georgiou and Orthotouch and expressed his extreme displeasure regarding the manner in which the former applicants and their attorney, Mr Jeff Donenberg, acted when they attempted to terminate the mandate of the HSAG attorneys and thereafter, without any prior notice, tried to withdraw the certification of the class action and setting aside of the scheme of arrangement of Orthotouch.

Judge Navsa said that he did not know how an attorney (Jeff Donenberg) could get away with it. He also said that Georgiou knew exactly what he was doing by settling the former Applicants claims and that he prevented the HSAG from pursuing the class action.

Acting Judge Ashton Schippers went further by saying that Georgiou’s conduct was an infringement of section 34 of the Constitution of South Africa.  This constitutional provision relates to access to the courts and the attainment of justice.

Judge Steven Majiedt and Acting Judge Owen Rogers actively supported judge Navsa in his stinging criticism of Georgiou.  Judge Nigel Willis stated that the appeal application was a ploy by Georgiou to derail the class action.

All five judges made it clear that it was a deliberate scheme to stop the class action.

Judge Navsa instructed counsel for Georgiou and Orthotouch to take instructions regarding whether they wanted to proceed with the appeals.

The Court adjourned for a short tea break whereafter both Georgiou’s and Orthotouch threw in the towel and withdrew the four appeals, two in the Pretoria High Court – one against the reinstatement of the certification of the class action and the other against the substitution of the HSAG apllicants and two in the Johannesburg High Court – one against the setting aside of the Orthotouch S155 Scheme of Arrangement and the other against the substitution of the HSAG apllicants in that case.

Georgiou and Orthotouch also tendered the costs for the appeals.

The HSAG legal team refused to accept an ordinary costs order and made a strong case that a punitive cost order in favour of the HSAG class action should be granted.  This was on account the gross abuse of the court process and because Georgiou/Orthotouch deliberately conspired to derail the class action, and in the process delayed the certification and rescission application by 18 months.

The appeals were then withdrawn and the costs argument was reserved.

Soon after the Court adjourned, Georgiou and Orthotouch’s legal team together with the HSAG legal team approached the judges in chambers where their tender of costs on a punitive (attorney and client scale) was made an order of court.

This represents yet another major victory for the HSAG. It is unheard of that an appellant withdraws an appeal and then tenders attorney client costs. The HSAG can now continue with the application for certification of the class action and the application for rescission of the S155 Scheme of Arrangement (“SoA”).”

The fact that the Appellants withdrew the Appeals, also closes the door for Georgiou / Orthotouch to approach the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

The HSAG will now, inter alia, proceed to enforce the Order of Judge Brian Spilg, in terms of which Orthotouch its appointed business rescue practitioner, Mr Hans Klopper, were ordered to provide to the HSAG’s attorneys with a full list of all known investors in the scheme so that the HSAG can notify the investors of the intended setting aside of the SoA.

HSAG Management Committee

 

HSAG NUUSFLITS

15 MEI 2018

Vyf Regters van die Hoogste Hof van Appèl het Dinsdag, 8 Mei 2018, harde woorde vir mnr Nic Georgiou en Orthotouch gehad toe hul regspanne voor die Hof verskyn het om hul appèlle teen die uitsprake van die Hooggeregshof in Pretoria en Johannesburg te argumenteer.

Selfs voor die aanvang van die argumente, het Regter Mahomed Navsa moeilike vrae aan die regspan gestel wat namens Georgiou en Orthotouch optree. Hy het sy uiterste ontevredenheid uitgespreek oor die wyse waarop die voormalige applikante en hul prokureur, mnr Jeff Donenberg, opgetree het toe hulle probeer het om die mandaat van die HSAG-prokureurs te beëindig en daarna, sonder enige voorafgaande kennisgewing, probeer het om die sertifisering van die klas-aksie asook die tersydestelling van die reëlingskema van Orthotouch, terug te trek.

Regter Navsa het gesê dat hy nie weet hoe ‘n prokureur (Jeff Donenberg) hiermee kan wegkom nie. Hy het ook gesê dat Georgiou presies geweet het wat hy doen deur die eise van die voormalige applikante te skik en dat hy die HSAG verhoed het om die klas-aksie voort te sit.

Waarnemende Regter Ashton Schippers het verder gegaan deur te sê dat Georgiou se optrede ‘n oortreding was van artikel 34 van die Grondwet van Suid-Afrika. Hierdie grondwetlike bepaling handel met die reg op toegang tot die howe en die bereiking van geregtigheid.

Regter Steven Majiedt en waarnemende Regter Rogers het Regter Navsa aktief ondersteun in sy strydende kritiek op Georgiou. Regter Nigel Willis het verklaar dat die appèl-aansoek ‘n poging deur Georgiou was om die klas-aksie te ontspoor.

Al vyf Regters het dit duidelik gemaak dat dit ‘n doelbewuste skema was om die klas-aksie te stop.

Regter Navsa het Georgiou en Orthotouch se regsverteenwoordigers versoek om instruksies te kry by hul kliënte aangaande hul voorneme om met die appèlle voort te gaan.

Die hof het toe verdaag vir ‘n kort teebreek waarna beide Georgiou en Orthotouch die handdoek in gegooi het en die vier appèlle, twee in die hooggeregshof van Pretoria teruggetrek het – een teen die herinstelling van die sertifisering van die klas-aksie en die ander teen die vervanging van die HSAG apllikante en twee in die hooggeregshof van Johannesburg teruggetrek het- een teen die tersydestelling van die Orthotouch S155 Reëlingskema en die ander teen die vervanging van die HSAG-applikante in daardie saak. Georgiou en Orthotouch het ook die koste vir die appèlle aangebied.

Die HSAG regspan het geweier om ‘n gewone kostebevel te aanvaar en het ‘n sterk saak uitgemaak dat ‘n bestraffende koste-bevel ten gunste van die HSAG-klas-aksie toegestaan moet word. Dit was op grond van die growwe misbruik van die hofproses en omdat Georgiou / Orthotouch doelbewus saamgespan het om die klas-aksie te ontspoor en in die proses die sertifiserings- en tersydestellingsaansoek met 18 maande vertraag het.

Die appèlle is teruggetrek en die koste-argument is gereserveer.

Kort nadat die hof verdaag het, het Georgiou en Orthotouch se regspan, saam met die regspan van die HSAG, die Regters in kamers genader waar hul die tender van bestraffende kostes (prokureur- en- kliënt skaal) ‘n bevel van die hof gemaak is.

Hierdie verteenwoordig nog ‘n groot oorwinning vir die HSAG. Dit is ongehoord dat ‘n appellant ‘n appèl terugtrek en dan daarmee saam prokureur kliënt kostes tender. Die HSAG kan nou voortgaan met die aansoek om sertifisering van die klas-aksie en die aansoek om die S155-reëlingskema ter syde te stel.

Die feit dat die Appellante die Appèlle teruggetrek het, sluit ook die deur vir Georgiou / Orthotouch om die Konstitusionele Hof van Suid-Afrika te nader.

Die HSAG gaan nou onder meer die bevel van regter Brian Spilg afdwing, waarvolgens Orthotouch se sakereddingspraktisyn, mnr Hans Klopper, beveel is om ‘n volledige lys van alle bekende beleggers in die skema aan die HSAG se prokureurs te voorsien sodat die HSAG hierdie beleggers in kennis kan stel van die beoogde tersydestelling van die S155-reëlingskema.

HSAG Bestuurskomitee

 

HSAG INFORMATION SESSION 2018: BLOEMFONTEIN

The HSAG Board will be in Bloemfontein during the week of 8 May 2018 for the arguments of the Appeals, and an information session in Bloemfontein will be held on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 at a HSAG Management Meeting.

Date: 9 May 2018

Time: 10h30 for 11h00 until 13h00

Location:     

CENTRUM HALL AT WESTERBLOEM RETIREMENT VILLAGE

22 VAN HEERDEN STREET

WILGEHOF

BLOEMFONTEIN

If you would like to attend the information session in Bloemfontein, we kindly request you to send an e-mail with your full name, surname and identity number to hsagregister@gmail.com in order for your name to be added to a registration list.

 

HSAG INLIGTINGSESSIE 2018: BLOEMFONTEIN

Die HSAG-bestuur sal gedurende die week van 8 Mei 2018 in Bloemfontein wees vir die argumentering van die Appèlle, en is daar tydens ʼn HSAG-bestuursvergadering besluit dat daar op Woensdag, 9 Mei 2018 ʼn Inligtingsessie in Bloemfontein gehou sal word.

Datum: 9 Mei 2018

Tyd: 10h30 vir 11uur tot 13h00

Plek:

SENTRUMSAAL TE WESTERBLOEM AFTREE-OORD.

VAN HEERDENSTRAAT 22

WILGEHOF

        BLOEMFONTEIN        

Indien u sou belangstel om die inligtingsessie in Bloemfontein by te woon, wil ons u vriendelik versoek op ʼn e-pos met u volle name, van en identiteitsnommer te stuur na hsagregister@gmail.com ten einde u naam op ʼn registerlys te voeg.