Monthla Ngobeni & Others v Tiger Brands Limited & Others

Listeriosis Class Action

Case #: 12835/2018

Year: 2018

RSI and LHL attorneys are certified to represent over one thousand persons who were affected by the listeriosis outbreak of 2017/2018 in a class action aginst Tiger Brands.


Primary Case File

RSI and LHL attorneys are certified to represent over one thousand persons who were affected by the listeriosis outbreak of 2017/2018 in a class action aginst Tiger Brands.

Between 2016 and 2018, South Africa experienced the largest listeriosis outbreak in recorded history, with 1065 confirmed cases and 218 recorded deaths. In March 2018, the NICD reported that the source of the outbreak had been identified as ready-to-eat processed meat products manufactured at Tiger Brands meat-processing facility at Polokwane.

The same month, RSI launched an application in the Gauteng High Court, Local Division to certify a class action on behalf of four classes of people who suffered harm because of the ingestion of contaminated products which originated or passed through the Polokwane facility between 23 October 2016 and 3 September 2018. The classes are:

  1. Individuals who themselves became ill with listeriosis;
  2. Babies who contracted listeriosis in utero from their mothers;
  3. Individuals who were dependent upon persons who died as a consequence of listeriosis; and
  4. Individuals who are or were maintaining other individuals who contracted listeriosis.

In December 2018, the court certified the class action, enabling the case to go forward against Tiger Brands. RSI and LHL seek to prove that Tiger Brands is strict liable to members of the classes under s60(1) of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008, or alternatively under the common law for the negligent and wrongful breach of a duty of care. Additionally, RSI and LHL seek to show that Tiger Brands is liable for constitutional or exemplary or punitive damages due to their wilful or reckless breach of a special duty of care.

The class action will proceed in two stages. First, the classes will seek declaratory relief in respect of Tiger Brands’ liability to the classes. If a class is successful at the first stage, the class members will be required to opt-in to the second stage where they will pursue their individual claims for damages against Tiger Brands.

The parties have filed their pleadings and preparation for litigation is underway. 

Counsel for the Applicants: Carol Steinberg SC, Michael Bishop, Michael Mbikiwa

For more information, visit the Listeria Class action website here.

If you believe that you or your loved one were affected by the listeriosis outbreak, please contact us by:

  • Emailing us at listeriosis@rsinc.co.za
  • Phoning us at 0800 037 772
  • Sending a ‘WhatsApp’ or ‘please call me’ to 082 044 0875

Supporting Files

Tiger Brands Subpoena

Tiger Brands Subpoena - Heads Of Argument Supreme Court Of Appeal

  • 1. Deltamune, Pillay, Aspirata Heads of Argument - Download
  • 2. Famous Brands Heads of Argument - Download
  • 3. NHLS Heads of Argument - Download
  • 4. Red Meat Industry Heads of Argument - Download
  • 5. Tiger Brands Heads of Argument - Download

Tiger Brands Subpoena - Heads of Argument High Court

  • 1. Class representatives Heads of Argument - Download
  • 2. Deltamune Heads of Argument - Download
  • 3. Federated Meats Heads of Argument - Download
  • 4. NHLS Heads of Argument - Download
  • 5. Pillay and Aspirata Heads of Argument - Download
  • 6. SABS Heads of Argument - Download
  • 7. Tiger Brands' Heads of Argument - Download

Main Action

  • 1. Plaintiffs Summons - Download
  • 2. Plaintiffs Particulars Of Claim (amended February 2022) - Download
  • 4. Defendants Plea - Download

Certification Application

  • 1. Notice of Motion - Download
  • 2. Founding Affidavit - Download
  • 3. Supplementary Founding Affidavit - Download
  • 4. Heads of Argument - Applicants - Download
  • 5. Court Order on Certification Application - Download