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Debt Collectors Act, 1998 (Act No. 114 of 1998)


Regulations relating to Debt Collectors, 2003

7. Improper conduct


(1) The Council may –
(a) establish a committee or committees, consisting of at least three members of the Council, one of whom must be suitably qualified in law, and designate one of those members as chairperson of the committee; or
(b) nominate a person or persons, as and when necessary,

to investigate any allegation of improper conduct as provided for in this regulation.


(2) Any allegation of improper conduct against a debt collector shall be in the form of a written affidavit, stating the date, time and particulars of the incident, the name of the debt collector and the names of any witnesses to the incident, and shall be submitted to the Council as soon as practical after the incident, together with any corroborative documents, if any.


(3) The Council shall keep record of each allegation lodged with it in terms of subregulation (1), and of the outcome thereof.


(4) The Council shall within 14 days after receipt of the allegation referred to in subregulation (1) bring the allegation to the attention of the debt collector concerned.


(5) On receipt of the allegations, the debt collector may, within five days, respond in writing to the allegations in the manner the Council requests.


(6) The Council may require the particulars it deems necessary regarding any aspect of the allegations from any person in the manner determined by the Council.


(7) The Council shall consider the allegations and deal with it in the manner it deems fit.


(8) If the Council decides to charge a debt collector with improper conduct, the Council shall—
(a) charge the debt collector concerned by notice in writing, stating all the charges against the debt collector; and
(b) appoint a person to lead evidence in the investigation.


(9) The debt collector must furnish the Council with a written admission or denial of the charge within 14 days of the service of the written notice referred to in subregulation (8).


(a) The written notice referred to in subregulation (8) shall be served personally on a debt collector by a person designated by the Council or a sheriff.
(b) Such person or sheriff shall, within seven days after receipt by such person or sheriff of the written notice report in writing to the Council regarding the service.
(c) If the debt collector avoids personal service of the written notice, the Council may forward the notice by registered post to the last known address of the office of the debt collector and such service shall be deemed to be sufficient notice.
(d) The fees payable to a sheriff to serve any document in terms of these regulations, are the fees prescribed for sheriffs in the Magistrates' Courts Rules.


(11) If the debt collector charged admits that he or she is guilty of the charge the Council shall deal with the matter as contemplated in section 15(3) of the Act.


(12) The Council shall investigate the charge of improper conduct at such time and place as the Council may determine and shall give the debt collector concerned at least 14 days' notice in writing of the time and place so determined.


(13) The provisions of subregulation (10) shall apply, with the necessary changes, in respect of the written notice referred to in subregulation (12).


(a) The Council may authorize a person who has an interest in the investigation, to—
(i) attend the investigation instituted in terms of subregulation (12);
(ii) adduce evidence and arguments in support of the charge; and
(iii) cross-examine any person who has given evidence in rebuttal of the charge.
(b) At the investigation the debt collector concerned shall have the right to be present, to be assisted or represented by a legal practitioner, to give evidence and, either personally or through the legal representative—
(i) to be heard;
(ii) to call witnesses;
(iii) to cross-examine any person called as a witness in support of the charge; and
(iv) to have access to documents admitted in evidence.
(c) The failure of the debt collector, on whom the notice referred to in subregulation (12) was served, to attend the investigation shall not invalidate the proceedings.
(d) The Council shall keep a record of the proceedings and of the evidence given.


(a) For the purposes of an investigation in terms of subregulation (12), the Council may—
(i) summon any person who may be able to give material information concerning the conduct in question, or who is believed to have in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control any book, document or object which has any bearing on that conduct, to appear before the Council;
(ii) call upon and administer an oath to, or accept an affirmation from any person present at the investigation who was or could have been summoned under subparagraph (i); and
(iii) interrogate or require any person who was called under subparagraph (ii) to produce a book, document or object referred to in subparagraph (i) for the duration of the investigation.
(b) A subpoena for the appearance of any person before the Council shall correspond substantially with Form 4 of Annexure A.

[Regulation 7(15)(b) substituted by section 3 of Notice R1120 of 2009]

(c) The law relating to privilege in civil cases is applicable in respect of the interrogation of, or the production of a book, document or object by any person referred to in paragraph (a)(iii).


(a) The original subpoena referred to in subregulation (15)(b) and one copy thereof shall be forwarded by the Council to a person designated in writing by the Council for that purpose, or to a sheriff, for service on the person who is summoned.
(b) The copy of the subpoena shall be served by such person or sheriff on the person concerned personally or by delivering it to his or her place of residence, business, or employment, to any other person who apparently is not less than 16 years of age and who apparently resides or is employed there.
(c) If a person on whom a subpoena is to be served, keeps his or her residence or place of business closed and so prevents the service of the subpoena on him or her or otherwise makes service impossible, the subpoena shall be served by affixing a copy of the subpoena to the outer or principal door of such residence or place of business.
(d) The person or sheriff serving a subpoena shall, if the person on whom it is being served so demands, exhibit the original subpoena to him or her.
(e) The person or sheriff serving a subpoena shall make a return of service by entering the mode of service on the original subpoena or on a document attached thereto.
(f) The person or sheriff serving a subpoena shall immediately after the subpoena was served, forward to the Council the return of service.

[Regulation 7(16) substituted by section 3 of Notice R1120 of 2009]


(17) The Council may reimburse any person summoned in terms of subregulation (15)(a)(i) for expenses incurred in respect of the attendance of the investigation as the Council may deem fit.