The prescription period applicable to a debt secured by notarial bond

Loubser, Max (2016-08)

CITATION: Loubser, M. 2016. The prescription period applicable to a debt secured by notarial bond. Stellenbosch Law Review, 27(2):374-392.

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There are conflicting judgments on the question whether the 30-year prescription period provided for in section 11(a)(i) of the Prescription Act 68 of 1969 (“Prescription Act”) for “any debt secured by mortgage bond” also applies to debts secured by a notarial bond. The matter turns on whether the words “mortgage bond” as used in section 11(a)(i) should be interpreted to include a “notarial bond” and concerns various rules of interpretation and important policy considerations. This article contains an analysis of the recent cases with reference to the relevant rules of interpretation and policy considerations. The following sub-sections deal with the relevant policy considerations; the rules or canons of interpretation to determine the meaning of “any debt secured by mortgage bond”, specifically grammatical or literal interpretation, context, purpose and policy of differential prescription periods, and different language texts of a statute as an aid to interpretation . The judgments are then considered critically, followed by conclusions .

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