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At The Legal Advice Office; we get many queries about blacklisting and requests for the rescission of judgments.

To clear credit records we offer two main services to our clients.

  1. In all matters where there is no judgment against our clients; we negotiate and mediate a removal of Blacklistings for and on behalf of our clients; with their creditors or their attorneys.
  2. Where judgements have been taken against our clients; it is more difficult and costly to have those judgments set aside and rescinded. There is no shortcut. One has to make a formal application to the court which granted the judgments; with a formal Notice of Motion and formal pleadings; which need to be drawn carefully and properly by a professional in terms of the Magistrate’s Court Act No 32 of 1944, as amended.

Section 36 of the above Act sets out what judgments may be rescinded.

Only certain judgments can be rescinded and set aside; and the most common of these is what is called “a default judgement.”

A default judgment is defined as one granted against a defendant in his absence. Other judgments that can be set aside are those which were void ab origine or granted by fraud or by mistake ie where it should never have been granted in the first place and those which are patently granted in error in whole or on part and where no appeal can be made.

Judgments may also be rescinded if the parties agree to such rescission in writing.

In brief these are the judgments which may be set aside and rescinded.

The procedure on how to set aside and rescind a judgment which falls into these categories is then set out in terms of Rule 49 of The Rules of Court in terms of the Act; which deals with Rescission and variation of Judgements. This rule lays down in detail what the procedure is. In brief a full and comprehensive affidavit is required which amongst other matters must set out the reason for the defendant’s default ie why he did not do what he should have done and also sets out in detail his bona fide defence to the plaintiff’s claim or his counterclaim. Previously the Defendant had to bring the application within 20 days of his knowledge of the judgement. Now however; he must simply do so within a reasonable period of time of his knowledge of same. Although a reasonable period is not defined; the court will be guided by the facts of the matter; and the previous set down and legislated period of 20 days.

One needs professional assistance in drafting the court papers’ but you do not necessarily need to appoint an attorney to appear in court and can do this aspect yourself PROVIDED all your paperwork is in order and correct in every aspect.

Please visit our website at or send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have ant queries in this regard or in fact any legal issue.

Should you wish to comment on this or another legal topic; also just send us an e-mail; and we will respond within 48 hours.

The Legal Advice Office Team.


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Legal Advice Office

South Africa

Kandelaar Street, Vermont, Hermanus
Phone: +27 (0) 82 093 2304