Local attorney Gideon "Kallie" Erasmus, representing an environmental group Uzani Environmental Advocacy, took on international petroleum giant BP and won.
In April, the Pretoria High Court ruled that BP is guilty of constructing 17 petrol stations without first obtaining the necessary environmental clearances.
Talking to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies, Erasmus says they were back in court on Friday to finalise sentencing proceedings but that did not take place as BP fired its legal team and hired a new one.
We are in a completely new field of the law. As far as we and the accused can ascertain, there has never been a case like this before.— Gideon "Kallie" Erasmus, Attorney -Uzani Environmental Advocacy
In terms of the Environmental Conservation Act, the fine per offence is a R100 000 plus a further fine of three times commercial value of each of the filling stations.— Gideon "Kallie" Erasmus, Attorney -Uzani Environmental Advocacy
In addition to that, the National Environmental Management Act provides that they can be fined an amount equal to any monetary advantage BP gains.— Gideon "Kallie" Erasmus, Attorney -Uzani Environmental Advocacy
On 1 November, the court is expected to address the extent of the judge's powers of inquiry. Once that is cleared the court will be expected to set a date on sentencing.
To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below: