SCA finds contract cancellation by e-mail and digital signatures valid

On 21 November 2014, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled that the parties to an agreement that contained a non-variation clause (providing for cancellation to be in writing and signed by the parties) could vary the agreement through an exchange of emails.

The SCA also found that typewritten names of the parties at the foot of emails constituted ‘data’ that was logically associated with the data in the body of the emails, as envisaged in the definition of an ‘electronic signature’ [which is not to be confused with an advanced electronic signature] in ss 13(1) and (3) of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002.

See Spring Forest Trading 599 CC v Wilberry (Pty) Ltd T/A Ecowash and Another Case No: 725/13 (pdf.)



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