Cancellation of contracts by e-mail and digital signatures

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SCA finds contract cancellation by e-mail and digital signatures valid
On 21 November 2014, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that oral negotiations between parties that have been reduced to writing in the form of emails constitute an agreement to cancel their written agreements.

Also, the SCA has found that typewritten names of the parties at the foot of emails constitute ‘data’ that is 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]. These, therefore, satisfy the requirement of a signature and have the effect of authenticating the information contained in the emails. ► Download the judgment in Spring Forest Trading 599 CC v Wilberry (Pty) Ltd T/A Ecowash and Another Case No: 725/13 here.

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