Section 64 of the National Credit Act requires plain language. And I've noticed that even the banks have gone to some lengths to ensure sureties are written in plain language nowadays.
So imagine my surprise when I came across this clause in Vodacom's Agreement of suretyship:
As has been my habit for years now when coming across this particular piece of legal jargon, I duly crossed it out and initialled the alteration. And for years now it hasn't been a problem.8. The Surety hereby expressly renounces the defence of prescription and the benefits of the legal exceptions of "order", "excussion", "division", "cession of action", "no value received", "non causa debiti" and all or any exceptions which could or might be pleaded to any claim by the creditor against the Surety declaring himself / herself to be fully acquainted with the meaning and effect of all such exceptions.
On rare occasions the creditor has questioned this alteration, and once I've pointed them to S64 and asked them to explain excussion to me in plain language, up until now they've accepted the alteration and life has gone on. In fact, most have amended their credit agreements as a result.
But of course this is Vodacom. No alterations accepted and the company's application has been declined as a result.
(Which they failed to inform me of BTW. It was only today when I followed up on their silence that all this has come to light.)
So I asked the Vodacom representative to explain to me the meaning of clause 8, and in particular the meaning of excussion in plain language.
His supervisor couldn't.
No-one in the entire Vodacom Customer Service Centre at Gateway could.
And they couldn't raise anyone on the phone that could (or was willing to) explain it to me either.
I suggest that answers the test as to whether this constitutes plain language or not
Anyhow, it has now been booted to Vodacom legal and I'm told I can expect a response from them within 3 days.
No idea where things are going to go from here, and I am quietly wondering whether this time around I've bitten off more than I should chew - particularly as I know it is exceptionally unlikely the surety is ever going to have to be invoked.
Any possibly helpful thoughts to preoccupy me while I wait, anyone?