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Update on Court Case: Mission Kwasizabantu withdraws its court application and agrees to pay all legal costs

On Wednesday, May 30, 2001, the Supreme Court of South Africa, KwaZulu Natal resumed its hearing of the matter between KSB and B. Mabaso and others. Judge Galgut asked if anything had been decided between the parties to which Mission Kwasizabantu’s advocate D.M. Achtzehn replied that the Mission would like to withdraw the application against the 5 respondents, citing that they had achieved their objectives.

Judge Galgut queried KSB’s advocate about the matter of the payment of legal costs. He replied that Mission Kwasizabantu declines to pay the legal costs of the respondents. In spite of the fact that KSB initiated court action and voiced intention to withdraw their application, KSB expected the five men, whom they took to court, to pay their own court and defence costs.

The judge asked the opposing advocates to meet outside regarding the matter whereupon the advocates, who represent the Respondents- Barney Mabaso and others, explained that their clients did not accept responsibility for paying the legal fees. As a result, the matter was adjourned until September 5, 2001 to argue the question of costs.

On Thursday May 31, 2001, two provincial newspapers, The Natal Witness and the Mercury released detailed articles citing affidavits filed in the court, by a family member of the child alleged to be the illegitimate child of Erlo Stegen’s relative. The child’s aunt submitted evidence in dispute of Erlo Stegen and KSB’s application, alleging Erlo’s Stegen’s relative to be the father of the child in question.

On June 1, 2001, KSB’s advocates announced their clients’ decision to withdraw the matter and settle out of court. Erlo Stegen and Mission Kwasizabantu have changed their minds and now agree to pay the legal costs of the 5 respondents. The matter is now closed.