Criminal Liability In South Africa For Cartel Conduct From 1 May 2016

Criminal Liability In South Africa For Cartel Conduct From 1 May 2016
26 Apr 2016

As of 1 May 2016, certain sections of the Competition Amendment Act (Act), providing for criminal liability of individuals who act in contravention of the Act, will become effective.

Tamara Dini, partner in Bowman Gilfillan Africa Group’s Competition and Regulatory Practice, explains that sections 73A (1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Competition Amendment Act relate to criminal liability for individuals in relation to contraventions of the Competition Act.

“In particular, these sections allow for directors and managers to be held criminally liable for causing a company to engage in, or “knowingly acquiescing” to a company’s involvement in, price-fixing, market division or collusive tendering.  Individuals may face personal penalties of up to R 500,000 or 10 years’ imprisonment,” she explains.

Dini notes that “criminal liability for cartel conduct applies in a number of jurisdictions, but the introduction of criminal liability in South Africa seems to be premature.  For example, aspects of the Competition Act itself have not been fully interpreted by the Competition Tribunal or the Competition Appeal Court and to impose criminal liability on individuals in these circumstances raises questions.”

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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