The Fidelity Fund’s Board of Control says its legal representatives have read the judgment ordering it to pay former Springbok player Joost van der Westhuizen R385‚000 and have advised there are sound grounds for an appeal.
The high court in Pretoria on Wednesday ordered the Fidelity Fund to pay the money to the ailing former rugby player‚ who said he urgently needs the money to be paid out from the trust fund of his former attorney Robert Klinkenberg. The attorney died in December last year.
The fund is a statutory body whose objective is to protect the public against loss as a result of the theft of trust fund by legal practitioners.
Van der Westhuizen‚ who is seriously ill with motor neuron disease‚ took the fund to court after his claim for the allegedly misappropriated money was turned down in May.
The fund said it was not liable for Van der Westhuizen’s claim because Klinkenberg had been authorised to invest the funds in his capacity as an executor‚ trustee or curator.
In a statement on Friday‚ the fund said it appreciated the circumstances pertaining to Van der Westhuizen‚ as well as the public sentiment in his support.
“However‚ the Attorneys Fidelity Fund’s Board of Control has a duty to ensure that the provisions of the Attorneys Act 53 of 1979 are applied consistently and without favour of any particular person.
“Accordingly‚ our legal team has been instructed to prepare an application for leave to appeal the aforesaid judgment.”
The fund said the filing of the notice of appeal would have the effect of suspending the judgment.