Authority by representation – A new form of authority?

  • RD Sharrock


The majority decision in Makate v Vodacom (Pty) Ltd [2016] ZACC 13 recognises a new form of actual authority – authority by representation. However, the decision is based on a misinterpretation of English law and is inconsistent with an extensive body of South African case law and the view held by several South African text–book writers. It remains to be seen whether the decision will be regarded as binding authority. If it is accepted as binding, the principle of agency by representation which it establishes will need to be clarified and developed in certain respects to ensure that it does not operate unfairly.

Keywords: Authority; estoppel; law of agency; ostensible; stare decisis.


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eISSN: 1727-3781