Meetings of Creditors; Proof of Claims

Section 44

Proof of liquidated claims against estate

(1) Any person or the representative of any person who has a liquidated claim against an insolvent estate, the cause of which arose before the sequestration of that estate, may, at any time before the final distribution of that estate in terms of section one hundred and thirteen, but subject to the provisions of section one hundred and four, prove that claim in the manner hereinafter provided: Provided that no claim shall be proved against an estate after the expiration of a period of three months as from the conclusion of the second meeting of creditors of the estate, except with leave of the Court or the Master, and on payment of such sum to cover the cost or any part thereof, occasioned by the late proof of the claim, as the Court or Master may direct.
(2) . . . . . .

[Sub-s. (2) deleted by s. 4 of Act No. 101 of 1983.]


(3) A claim made against an insolvent estate shall be proved at a meeting of the creditors of that estate to the satisfaction of the officer presiding at that meeting, who shall admit or reject the claim: Provided that the rejection of a claim shall not debar the claimant from proving that claim at a subsequent meeting of creditors or from establishing his claim by an action at law, but subject to the provisions of section seventy-five: and provided further that if a creditor has twenty-four or more hours before the time advertised for the commencement of a meeting of creditors submitted to the officer who is to preside at that meeting the affidavit and other documents mentioned in subsection (4), he shall be deemed to have tendered proof of his claim at that meeting.

[Sub-s. (3) amended by s. 11 (a) of Act No. 99 of 1965.]


(4) Every such claim shall be proved by affidavit in a form corresponding substantially with Form C or D in the First Schedule to this Act. That affidavit may be made by the creditor or by any person fully cognizant of the claim, who shall set forth in the affidavit the facts upon which his knowledge of the claim is based and the nature and particulars of the claim, whether it was acquired by cession after the institution of the proceedings by which the estate was sequestrated, and if the creditor holds security therefor, the nature and particulars of that security and in the case of security other than movable property which he has realized in terms of section eighty-three, the amount at which he values the security. The said affidavit or a copy thereof and any documents submitted in support of the claim shall be delivered at the office of the officer who is to preside at the meeting of creditors not later than twenty-four hours before the advertised time of the meeting at which the creditor concerned intends to prove the claim, failing which the claim shall not be admitted to proof at that meeting, unless the presiding officer is of opinion that through no fault of the creditor he has been unable to deliver such evidences of his claim within the prescribed period: Provided that if a creditor has proved an incorrect claim, he may, with the consent in writing of the Master given after consultation with the trustee and on such conditions as the Master may think fit to impose correct his claim or submit a fresh correct claim.

[Sub-s. (4) amended by s. 15 of Act No. 16 of 1943 and substituted by s. 11 (b) of Act No. 99 of 1965.]


(5) Any document by this section required to be delivered before a meeting of creditors at the office of the officer who is to preside at that meeting, shall be open for inspection at such office during office hours free of charge by any creditor, the trustee or the insolvent or the representative of any of them.
(6) A claim against an insolvent’s estate for payment of the purchase price of goods sold and delivered to the insolvent on an open account shall not be admitted to proof unless a statement is submitted in support of such claim showing the monthly total and a brief description of the purchases and payments for the full period of trading or for the period of twelve months immediately before the date of sequestration, whichever is the lesser.

[Sub-s. (6) substituted by s. 11 (c) of Act No. 99 of 1965.]


(7) The officer presiding at any meeting of creditors may of his own motion or at the request of the trustee or his agent or at the request of any creditor who has proved his claim, or his agent, call upon any person present at the meeting who wishes to prove or who has at any time proved a claim against the estate to take an oath, to be administered by the said officer, and to submit to interrogation by the said officer or by the trustee or his agent or by a creditor or the agent of a creditor whose claim has been proved, in regard to the said claim.


(8) If any person wishes to prove or who has at any time proved a claim against the estate is absent from a meeting of creditors the officer who presided or who presides thereat, may summon him in writing to appear before him at a place and time stated in the summons, for the purpose of being interrogated by the said officer or by the trustee or his agent or by a creditor or the agent of a creditor whose claim has been proved, and if he appears in answer to the summons the provisions of subsection (7) shall apply.
(9) If any such person fails without reasonable excuse to appear in answer to such summons or having appeared or when present at any meeting of creditors refuses to take the oath or to submit to the said interrogation or to answer fully and satisfactorily any lawful question put to him, his claim, if already proved, may be expunged by the Master, and if not yet proved, may be rejected.