Profiteering mask firm’s fine scrapped as judge chides ...

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Profiteering mask firm’s fine scrapped as judge chides over-eager watchdog

Context is everything as judge overturns penalty against company, even though it was guilty of price-hiking

Cape Town bureau chief

The first company punished for price-gouging under Covid-19 disaster regulations has failed to overturn its conviction, but its fine has been scrapped.

The competition appeal court said it was regrettable that complex new provisions had been tested for the first time “in a case brought with unseemly haste at the expense of precision”.

In its ruling on Wednesday, it said Babelegi Workwear and Industrial Supplies of Pretoria was fined R76,000 even though “only 76 boxes of 20 masks per box were affected by the excessive price”...

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