Shuttleworth to fight court ruling: report

South African IT billionaire, Mark Shuttleworth, has announced that he will appeal the North Gauteng High Court ruling against his fight with the South African Reserve Bank, Moneyweb reported.

According to the report, Shuttleworth’s lawyers have served notice of his intention to ask Judge Francis Legodi for permission to appeal his judgment.

Judge Legodi will need to decide whether another court might come to a different conclusion in order to grant the leave to appeal, the report said.

In July, Shuttleworth‘s bid to have South Africa’s entire exchange control system declared unconstitutional failed, with Legodi dismissing Shuttleworth’s application to set aside the imposition of a R250 million levy he had to pay to get some of his assets out of the country in 2009 and for the Reserve Bank to return his money.

It was reported by Forbes in August that, because of the exchange controls, it cost Shuttleworth more to get his money out of South Africa ($30 million) than it did to get him into space in 2001 ($20 million).

According to Moneyweb, Shuttleworth challenged four main aspects of the exchange control system which affected him personally. They were:

  1. The decision by Sarb in 2009 to impose the 10% levy as a condition of him taking this money out of the country. He sought repayment of R250 million.
  2. Certain wording in Excon circulars, regulations, orders and rulings. He contended that these were constitutionally invalid.
  3. The whole of section 9 of the Currency and Exchanges Act of 1933 declared constitutionally invalid.
  4. SARB’s “Closed Door” policy. This means that no individual may converse directly with the SARB, only through his or her own bank.

While Shuttleworth was unsuccessful in getting the court to rule in favour of challenges which affected him personally, peripheral challenges of the exchange control system were overturned.

Legodi granted an order declaring Section 9(3) of the Currency and Exchanges Act as well as certain portions of the Exchange Control Regulations unconstitutional.

Section 9(3) gives the President not only the power to amend or suspend any part of the Currency and Exchanges Act, but also the power to amend or suspend any other Act of Parliament.

If leave is granted to appeal the decision, Shuttleworth will persist in his claim for repayment of the R250 million, Moneyweb said.

Source: Moneyweb

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Shuttleworth to fight court ruling: report