A case by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to have e-tolling scrapped is based on a sham, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.
"It was all a sham... They used the sham to get out of a hole," argued Jeremy Gauntlett SC, who is appearing for the National Treasury.
"Fraud cuts through all things.... The sham is vital to their new case. They argue that they should be excused for their delay."
Gauntlett echoed arguments made on Tuesday by David Unterhalter SC, for the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), that all relevant civil society organisations representing Gauteng motorists had known about e-tolling and the user-pay principle, but had done nothing until the tariffs were introduced.
Unterhalter argued that these organisations stood by for years while construction was taking place and could see the upgrades.
On Wednesday, Gauntlett argued that civil society waited until after construction before saying it did not like the user-pay principle.
"Civil society is a watchdog, but it must get out of the kennel and bark," he said.
"Civil society must take action before the eve of the attack."
Gauntlett said its argument was "futile", and that it should have taken action sooner.
"[The application] is their attempt to delay the inevitable," he said.
He said Outa had gone to court without a properly argued case.
"Outa has been hopping around to make a case of dishonesty against Sanral and run a new case on that basis," he submitted.
Its case was a matter of public finance and should not be argued in court as it would "harm" the country, Gauntlett argued.
He said the case should be dismissed, and that the Treasury stood by Sanral and the transport department.
On page two... The court is hearing final arguments in the case...