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Legal articles written by lawyers discussing aspects related to industries, businesses and individuals.

Mkhwebane cannot order constitutional change

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s recommendation to amend the Reserve Bank’s constitutional mandate had nothing to do with her investigation into the apartheid-era Bankorp ‘lifeboat’, and was only aimed at stripping the Bank of its powers to maintain price stability, the bank said yesterday, according to a Business Day report. Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago, applied to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to review and set aside sections of Mkhwebane’s report on the lifeline granted to Bankorp, which Absa subsequently acquired.

Lawyers urged not to delay sheriffs' payments

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 27 June 2017
General Legal Practice
The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has urged lawyers not to delay the payment of sheriffs' accounts to the last possible date following what is described as ‘a very productive meeting’ with the Deputy Minister of Justice, John Jeffery, notes Legalbrief.

Embracing technology to promote justice

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Criminal Law Litigation Media Law
The judgment handed down by the SCA last week regarding the filming of Henri van Breda’s criminal trial is a significant one, writes Willem de Klerk, an experienced litigation attorney and Johannesburg-based media lawyer, in an analysis on the News24 site. He says it adds to a body of law developed in recent years that promotes the principle of open justice and finally closes the door on the blanket exclusion of cameras in court.

Eskom backed off R2.1bn fine to help Guptas

After driving Optimum Coal into business rescue last year, thereby endangering almost 2 000 jobs at the mine, Eskom suddenly reached a settlement that gave the Gupta family a 75% discount on the R2.1bn fine it had levied on the company at the time it was owned by global commodities trader Glencore. Business Day says in March this year, Eskom agreed to accept a R500m settlement for the non-performance penalties it had levied on Glencore.

Cancer suits could run to millions

The KZN Department of Health faces legal action from state cancer patients running into millions of rands following the recent finding it had violated their rights to care and treatment, says a Sunday Tribune report. ‘We are already seeing a spike in queries following the ruling and are consulting with some clients around this matter. The ruling against the department by the SA Human Rights Commission is precedent-setting even though it is yet to be tested in court,’ lawyer Ahmed Amod said.

Man's battle with bank falls flat

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 26 June 2017
Banking & Finance Law Litigation
A man’s ambitious KZN High Court (Durban) bid to have Wesbank’s trading licences revoked, has fallen flat on its face, notes a report in The Mercury. Sivapragasen Naidu also wanted the SA Reserve Bank to ‘reprimand and enlighten Wesbank of their failure to comply with the Banking Code of Conduct, government regulatory Acts’ and for the court to order the bank to pay him a R4.6m counterclaim he lodged in 2011, following court action being instituted against him.

25% garnishee salary cap

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 26 June 2017
Civil Rights Employment Law Litigation
The government plans to introduce a salary cap on the percentage that can be ‘attached’ by creditors using emolument attachment orders to collect debt, notes a BusinessLIVE report. The Courts of Law Amendment Bill proposes that no more than 25% of a debtor's salary can be attached, no matter how many attachment orders they may have against them.

Don't undermine Reserve Bank

SA should protect the independence of the Reserve Bank and must evaluate what effect the recommendations of the Public Protector to alter its mandate will have on the institution, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba says, according to a BusinessLIVE report. ‘I respect the right of the Public Protector to make whatever determination but I also support fully the independence of the South African Reserve Bank,’ Gigaba said a Bloomberg Television interview in London.

Van Breda wins live-streaming battle

Murder-accused Henri van Breda has won his battle in the SCA to prohibit Media24 from live-streaming his trial, notes a News24 report. ‘The matter is remitted to the High Court for reconsideration in accordance with the principles set out in the judgment,’ the SCA ruled yesterday, ordering Media24 to pay Van Breda's costs.

Accused Ponzi scheme pastor's houses auctioned

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 22 June 2017
Criminal Law Litigation Property Law
Two posh mansions owned by a Cape Flats pastor accused of running a multi-million rand Ponzi scheme has gone under the hammer. According to a report on the IoL site, the five-bedroom Plattekloof house of Colin Davids, the director of Platinum Forex Group, was sold within 10 minutes at an auction held at the property in Melkhout Street. Bidding started at R2m and the highest bid received was a whopping R4.6m.

The Road Accident Fund

By General News Published on Thursday, 22 June 2017
Litigation Motor Vehicles Personal Injury Law
The Road Accident Fund is a state-supported insurance fund that provides cover to all road users in South Africa in the event of a road accident. If someone is injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident because one of the drivers was negligent, they or their loved ones can lodge a claim with the Road Accident Fund (RAF). This means that even if the driver of the car doesn't have insurance, people injured in the accident (or the loved ones of people killed in the accident) can get money from the fund to help pay medical expenses and to compensate for wages they may have lost as a result of the accident.

Disappointment at court decision on grants deductions

The Black Sash Trust says it is disappointed by the court’s decision to refuse its application for leave to appeal an earlier ruling which allowed Net1 to deduct money from the accounts of social grant beneficiaries, notes a report on the IoL site. In May, the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) ruled against the order by the Department of Social Development and Sassa to stop Net1 from allowing deductions from accounts of grant beneficiaries.

Rooibos warned of potential class action suit

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Competition Law
Rooibos Limited, which controls 70% of the global rooibos tea market, could face a class action suit by other local processors if it is found guilty of abusing its market dominance, says Nick Altini, a competition lawyer with Baker McKenzie. According to a Business Day report, Altini said if Rooibos Limited admitted a contravention of the Competition Act and settled with the Competition Commission, other local processors could launch damages claims against Rooibos Limited.

Judgment ends 20-year limit on sex offences

Allegations of sexual assault can be pursued at any time and are no longer restricted to 20 years‚ the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) ruled yesterday, according to a TimesLIVE report. Eight alleged victims of the late philanthropist Sidney Frankel‚ who accused him of assaulting them when they were children‚ have won their case to change the law that limited sexual offences other than rape to a prescription period of 20 years.

Businessman ordered to demolish store or face jail

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 20 June 2017
Criminal Law Property Law
The KZN High Court (Durban) has ordered an Amanzimtoti businessman to demolish the store he erected illegally, or risk prison time, says a report in The Mercury. Deepak Bhardwaj has been found in contempt of a 2015 court order – interdicting him from trading from the Wanda Cele Road property at which Toti Saverite is located. He was given two months to tear the structure down, failing which he could be sent to prison.

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