Legal Articles and Guides
Legal articles written by lawyers discussing aspects related to industries, businesses and individuals.
The indigenous community of Salem in the Eastern Cape does not have exclusive rights to the thousand hectares of valuable farmland that makes up the Salem Commonage‚ the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday in dismissing the settlers’ appeal against judgments of the Land Claims Court and the SCA.
A settlement between thousands of sick gold miners and the mining industry is possible before the end of the year, according to one of the attorneys for the sick mineworkers, notes a GroundUp report. Upwards of 100 000 mineworkers and former mineworkers, and their dependents, are claiming damages for contracting silicosis and/or TB from exposure to dust underground.
An academic, who chose to return to his family home to deal with the trauma of being accidentally exposed to HIV, has succeeded in showing his subsequent dismissal by the Vaal University of Technology was unfair. Labour Court Judge Anton Steenkamp ruled in favour of Dr Pieter Wynand Conradie.
The practice of companies dismissing employees through alleged fraudulent liquidation scams is playing out in the Metal and Engineering Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC) in Johannesburg. In what The Star calls a ‘David v Goliath’ case, 34 former employees of Unique Storage Equipment (USE) in Alberton are taking on Tim van Wyk for supposedly liquidating his company and firing his employees, only to reregister it using another trading name, allegedly with the same assets.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has more than quadrupled its property portfolio after uncovering a scam it believes has fleeced the metro out of hundreds of millions of rands. The discovery, which implicates several municipal employees, comes after a land audit revealed thousands of ‘off the books’ properties owned by the municipality all over the Bay.
The judiciary is under fire again from sections of the ANC following Friday’s Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) judgment (see report below), which found President Jacob Zuma had been ‘reckless’ to the point of lying in unlawfully paying off Advocate Mxolisi Nxasana to vacate the office of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), and effectively labelled current NPA boss Shaun Abrahams a Zuma lackey.
Home Affairs Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will approach the SCA to challenge the Oppenheimer family’s court victory in October to run a private international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport. A Business Day report says on Friday the department lost the second round in a battle that has pitched the Oppenheimers against the Guptas when the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) dismissed its application for leave to appeal against the October judgment.
A detailed account of how a last-minute, hand-written amendment to a contract forced the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to trade R256m for now-worthless shares in the Gupta family’s Oakbay Resources and Energy at inflated prices in 2014 is contained in a lengthy City Press report. It notes the controversial loan restructuring agreement the IDC signed with Oakbay in March 2014 has been made public in the state financier’s belated court application to reclaim the money – and outstanding capital on a 2010 loan – totalling R287.5m.
The CCMA has found that former SARS spokesperson Adrian Lackay was not constructively dismissed. A News24 report says Lackay – who had worked at SARS for nearly 12 years – resigned in February 2015, alleging that the organisation had ‘made his continued employment intolerable’. CCMA Commissioner Joyce Nkopane found that he had not lodged a formal grievance and was not able to prove that his employer made his working conditions intolerable.
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has stepped in to investigate a case of alleged reckless lending against Nedbank after reading about it in the press. Moneyweb previously reported that retired education specialist, Myrlene Pieterse, approached the Ombudsman for Banking Services on behalf of a financially uneducated employee, contending that Nedbank engaged in reckless lending practices by not adequately explaining the implications of the credit.
The legal battle between Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen’s brother and his estranged celebrity wife Amor Vittone over his last will and testament has been postponed indefinitely. A Pretoria News report says the will has been a bone of contention since Joost’s death in February. The rugby star's brother, Pieter van der Westhuizen, and then attorney, Ferdinand Hartzenberg, turned to the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to declare the will drawn up in September 2015 as his last.
With the Constitutional Court having refused to hear the R60bn class action suit launched against the major lending banks, the case is heading to the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) early in the new year. The class action suit was filed in the Constitutional Court in August by more than 225 applicants whose homes were repossessed and sold at sheriffs’ auctions for a fraction of their market value.
The Constitutional Court has confirmed that a section of the Public Service Act‚ which permitted an employer to make unilateral deductions from an employee’s salary‚ is unconstitutional. The court confirmed the order by the Labour Court in January‚ which concerned a health manager who was erroneously overpaid for a number of years. Itunu Ibogu‚ a senior administrator at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital‚ found herself owing the Gauteng Health Department close to R800 000 after being erroneously appointed in the wrong position in 2010.
Forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan’s lawyers this week served a notice of an intention to institute legal proceedings against the Minister of Police, National Commissioner of SAPS and the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development for unlawful arrest, torture, kidnapping, deprivation of liberty, defamation/crimen injuria, trauma, intimidation and harassment, and malicious and vexatious prosecution. He is seeking R193 227 692.
Are investigative journalists Jacques Pauw and Pieter-Louis Myburgh, who have both written about alleged corrupt relationships involving President Jacob Zuma, being targeted by police? Are the police attempting to intimidate them? Legalbrief notes these are legitimate questions following recent events recorded in a report on the News24 site.