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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.

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.

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.

Court throws out bid to sue Catholic Church

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Criminal Law Litigation
Racist guesthouse owner Andre Slade’s attempt to sue the Roman Catholic Church – accusing them of blasphemy‚ perjury‚ plagiarism‚ murder and crimes against humanity – was swiftly jettisoned from the court roll yesterday, notes a TimesLIVE report. Judge Mokgere Masipa dismissed Slade’s legal challenge on the basis that the KZN High Court (Durban) does not have jurisdiction over the Vatican‚ and that the form of Slade’s affidavit was incorrect.

Crash truck owner avoids jail in plea agreement

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 06 June 2017
Criminal Law Motor Vehicles
The owner of the truck that crashed into several vehicles on Field’s Hill in 2013 killing 24 people has entered into a plea agreement with the state that will see him avoid jail time. According to a report on the IoL site, Gregory Govender, the owner of Sagekal Logistics, will, under the plea and sentence agreement, pay a combined fine of R25 000.

Warned once, then jailed for theft

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 01 June 2017
Criminal Law
A previous conviction and suspended sentence for theft did not deter Martha Broodryk from committing a similar offence, and this week she paid the penalty in the SCA, which confirmed a five-year prison term for the second offence. The Nelspruit Regional Court had in 2005 sentenced Broodryk to a six-year prison term‚ wholly suspended‚ for theft of R200 000 from her employer, notes a TimesLIVE report.

Dagga – Arrest Risk Remains

By Ashersons Attorneys | Dean Pinto | Published on Thursday, 01 June 2017
Civil Rights Criminal Law Litigation
Following on from the judgment in the Prince v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others case there is a lot of confusion as to whether dagga (cannabis) remains an illegal drug in South Africa, fuelled in part by conflicting media reports.

Forfeiture of illegal gambling winnings hailed

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 29 May 2017
Criminal Law
More than R1m made from illegal online gamblers around the country has been confiscated and forfeited to the state in what the government has hailed as unprecedented court proceedings, says a Cape Times report. The Department of Trade and Industry said about R1.25m was derived from illegal gambling activities, and specifically online gambling.

Another police vicarious liability case at ConCourt

The question of whether the Minister of Police can be held vicariously liable for a reservist in uniform who shot his girlfriend at dinner is to be heard by the Constitutional Court in August, according to a TimesLIVE report. Twice before the court has dealt with police criminality. In 2005 it held that the Minister was vicariously liable for the actions of three on-duty policemen who raped a stranded 20-year-old woman. And in 2011 the Minister was held vicariously liable for damages after the brutal rape of a 13-year-old by a policeman on standby duty.

Victims fight to change Criminal Procedure Act

The alleged sexual assault victims of the late philanthropist and stockbroker Sidney Frankel had their dignity violated by a section in the Criminal Procedure Act which prevents their complaints from being prosecuted after 20 years of the event. According to a TimesLIVE report, this is the view of Anton Katz SC‚ counsel for eight people who claim Frankel sexually assaulted them when they were between seven and 15 during the 1970s and 1980s.

Can I be prosecuted for breaking the speed limit?

By VisagieVos Attorneys Published on Monday, 22 May 2017
Criminal Law Motor Vehicles
Mandie is cruising along at 31 km/h over the speed limit in an attempt to keep up with the rest of the cars on the road. She thinks she is simply going with the flow of the traffic when suddenly she sees flashing lights in her rear-view mirror. Mandie does not take traffic laws seriously and has come to accept traffic fines as a “fact of life”. She regards transgression as bending the rules rather than the commitment of a crime.

Bid to overturn time limit for sexual assault prosecutions

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 19 May 2017
Criminal Law
The Teddy Bear Foundation‚ represented by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at Wits University‚ has been admitted to intervene as amicus curiae in a case involving a sexual offender for offences allegedly committed decades ago, says a TimesLIVE report. The case will be heard at the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) on Monday.

Van Breda livestreaming argued in SCA

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 19 May 2017
Criminal Law
The constitutional rights of the media and the public cannot be over-emphasised, Advocate John Butler SC, for Media24, said yesterday in heads of argument in the SCA case on live streaming the axe killing trial under way in Cape Town. Transparency and accountability are the fundamental values of the Constitution.

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