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compare settlement in terms of the Uniform Rules with settlement outside the Uniform Rules•explain when security for costs may be requestedCOMPULSORY READING MATERIALPete et alCivil Procedure 3ed (2017) 415–418; 433–434.Uniform Rule 34; 34A. Magistrates’ courts rule 18; 18A.22.1 INTRODUCTIONA defendant in a claim sounding in money, or in a claim for the performance of an act, is at liberty to attempt to settle such matter. A settlement is often reached by agreement between the parties, but, where such negotiations fail, the defendant can utilise the procedure laid Offer to settle, tender, interim payments and security for costs
PART 3: Court procedure134down in Uniform Rule 34 in a further attempt at settling the matter. The benefits derived from a settlement are, first, that the action is extinguished, and, secondly, that no further costs are incurred. Magistrates’ courts rule 18 is a mirror image of Uniform Rule 34.However, an offer to settle need not be made in terms of Uniform Rule 34, but such an offer provides no protection against costs being awarded to the other party, unless it is pleaded. This type of offer is known as a (common-law) tender.Another way of attempting to achieve a settlement between parties is by way of an interim payment. The need for such payment in actions for damages in terms of the Motor Vehicle Accident Act of 1986 arose as a result of the delay in the finalisation of litigation, which frequently happens in actions for damages as a result of personal injuries and death. These delays can often lead to undue financial hardship for the plaintiff and/or his or her next of kin. Interim payments not only eliminate these hardships but can also facilitate a reasonable and equitable settlement between the parties, and, in so doing, shorten the litigation process.22.2 OFFER TO SETTLEStudy Pete et al415–418.For the purposes of the above rules of court, the following expressions have the following meanings:•‘‘unconditional’’ = liability in respect of the claim is accepted•‘‘without prejudice’’ = liability is deniedIt is important to note that the fact that an offer has been made may not be disclosed in court before judgment has been given, and no reference to such offer may appear on any file in the office of the Registrar containing the papers of the case (Uniform Rule 34(10); rule 18(10)) – any party acting contrary to these rules will be liable to have costs given against him or her, even if he or she is successful in the action (Uniform Rule 34(13); rule 18(13)). The offer is, however, brought to the attention of the judge concerned before any order as to costs is made, since the fact that an offer was made is relevant to the apportionment of costs. A plaintiff who rejected an offer and then obtains judgment in his or her favour, but in a smaller amount than offered by the defendant, may be penalised by an adverse costs order.