Delictual Interference with a Contractual Relationship: Country Cloud Trading CC v Mec, Department of Infrastructure Development (CC)
Authors Deeksha Bhana, Charmika Samaradiwakera-Wijesundara
Affiliations: Professor of Law, University of the Witwatersrand; Lecturer in Law, University of the Witwatersrand
Source: Stellenbosch Law Review, Volume 29 Issue 3, 2018, p. 430 – 452
Country Cloud Trading CC v MEC, Department of Infrastructure Development ("Country Cloud (CC)") is a significant case in so far as it concerns the intersection between contracts and a delict, which moreover involves the conduct of a state entity. In this article, we focus first on the contracts by scrutinising the CC’s judgment from a contractual perspective. Thereafter, we examine the court’s approach to the potential delict in the form of an intentional interference with a contractual relationship. In the course of doing so, we also reflect on the precise interplay between contract and delict in this particular scenario and argue that it does not hinder an expanded appreciation of what constitutes an intentional interference with a contractual relationship causing pure (relational) economic loss that gives rise to a delictual remedy. Rather it is in keeping with our law’s "generalising approach" to delicts. In the end, we contend that Country Cloud ought to have had a remedy against the Department both in terms of the law of contract as well as the law of delict. Unfortunately, the continued lack of legal clarity on what concurrence actually entails caused considerable confusion in the judgment which ultimately left Country Cloud without recourse.