Gautam v Mrs India South Africa CC and Others (12369/2018) [2019] ZAKZDHC 7 (21 May 2019)

/ / 2019, Application, News, Non-Joinder


In or about August 2018, the Applicant won a beauty pageant and thereafter began promoting the brand and complying with her duties as was required of her. The Applicant was to receive prizes up to the value of R500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Rand) which included a Volkswagen Jetta 7.  

After having only received vouchers to the value of approximately R5,000.00 (Five Thousand Rand) and having felt that she was not getting any support from the persons involved in running the pageant (“the Respondents”), the Applicant instructed her attorneys to address a letter of demand to the Respondents. The letter of demand did not elicit a positive response, and as such, the Applicant thereafter gave further instructions to her attorneys to issue summons against the Respondents.    

In light of the above, various press reports in respect of the dispute were published. The Respondents regarded the Applicant’s conduct to be in breach of her contract and stripped her of her title and appointed the First Princess in her stead.  

Upon becoming aware of the above, the Applicant sought urgent interdictory relief to restrain the Respondents from taking steps to strip her of her title and declare her the winner of the pageant and called up the Respondents to deliver record of the proceedings in terms of which she was disqualified and alternatively, reviewing and setting aside the decision of the Respondents to disqualify her. She further sought urgent interdictory relief to restrain the Respondents from harassing, threatening or defaming her through the press or social media.  

In court, Counsel for the Respondents raised that after the Applicant was stripped of her title, the First Princess was appointed as the winner. As such, the interdictory relief sought by the Applicant would in turn have the effect of stripping the First Princess of her title as Mrs India South Africa.  

Counsel for the Applicant argued that the First Princess was not cited as a party to the application and as such the present proceedings has nothing to do with her.  

Reference was made to the case of United Watch & Diamond Co (Pty) Ltd and Others v Disa Hotels Ltd and Another [1972] 4 All SA 493 (C) where the court expressed the view that there was no merit in a claim for non-joinder in the original liquidation application.  

In the present matter, the judge was of the view that if he were to grant the relief sought by the Applicant, it would result in two persons having been awarded the winner title; the first having been appointed by the Respondents and the second by way of court order. The judge was also of the view that the First Princess in fact had a direct and substantial interest in the application. He further understood the element of urgency in the matter in that once the remaining four months of the Applicant’s reign had expired, there would be no point in restoring the title to her, save for the prizes, which formed the substance of the action instituted by her against the Respondents. in being mindful of the continued urgency of the matter, he allowed for abridged dates for the delivery of affidavits.  


The judge was also of the view that the Respondents incurred wasted costs in having to come to court to argue the point of non-joinder and as such should be compensated for same.


The following order was made:

(1) The application was adjourned sine die and the Applicant was given leave to amend her application, to seek to join the First Princess as a Respondent.

(2) In the application to join the First Princess she was to be directed to deliver any answering affidavits, or a notice to abide within 10 (Ten) days of the date of service of the papers upon her.

(3) In the same application, the Applicant was directed to annex a copy of the order and to draw the First Princess’s attention to the provision regarding the delivery of affidavits, or a notice to abide. 

(4) The Applicant was directed to deliver any replying affidavit within 5 (Five) days of the receipt of any affidavits delivered by the First Princess.

(5) Once the papers were finalised, the Applicant would be given leave to approach the senior presiding judge to seek an urgent date for hearing.

(6) The Applicant was directed to pay the wasted costs of the Respondents.


Applicants must ensure that they site all relevant parties who have an interest in the outcome of the application even if no relief is specifically sought against such persons.  

Written by Jayna Hira and supervised by Jenna Bentel

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