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Civil Rights

Businessman wins case over actions of police officer

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 13 February 2018
Civil Rights Litigation Personal Injury Law
A Durban businessman, who said he was harassed and thrown into jail several times by a policeman at the behest of controversial racehorse owner and friend of President Jacob Zuma, Roy Moodley, has won his case against the Minister of Police.

NGO takes 'big stink' battle to High Court

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 09 February 2018
Civil Rights Environmental Law Litigation
The row over the ‘rotten egg, big stink’ – said to come from a landfill site adjoining the Durban suburbs of Hillcrest and Shongweni – has intensified, with a fresh legal challenge seeking to compel the relevant Ministers and departments to take action against the site’s owners, waste management company EnviroServ.

Judgment reserved in firearms licence challenge

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 08 February 2018
Civil Rights Constitutional Law Litigation
The Minister of Police yesterday asked the Constitutional Court not to confirm that two sections in the Firearms Control Act were unconstitutional. According to a TimesLIVE report, the sections‚ if declared unconstitutional‚ will disrupt the police’s goal of regulating firearm ownership by requiring that each firearm owner has a licence which expires after a certain period.

Nude beach lobbyists push for law change

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 07 February 2018
Civil Rights Litigation
Nudists, whose initial attempts to declare a KZN beach a legal bare-all area failed, are now planning to petition the national government to amend the Sexual Offences Act 23 of 1969, TimesLIVE reports.

Prisoners go to court over meal times

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 01 February 2018
Civil Rights Criminal Law
Prisoners at Johannesburg's 'Sun City' Medium B prison are going without meals for up to 20 hours because of a lack of staff to serve them, the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) has heard. GroundUp reports that the case was brought by 14 inmates who told the court they were served both lunch and supper at 1pm because there was insufficient staff to serve their evening meals.

MEC takes school language case to ConCourt

The Gauteng Education Department will approach the Constitutional Court directly to challenge the Overvaal school decision, MEC Panyaza Lesufi said. The department's legal team met the national Department of Basic Education on Monday and will file an appeal on Friday, Lesufi said.

Personal liberty right central to damages award

Eastern Cape Judge President Selby Mbenenge, who ordered the Minister of Police to pay R560 000 for the unlawful arrest of a young man, said the primary purpose of the damages award was not to enrich the aggrieved party. The payment awarded to Onele Mkwati in the Eastern Cape High Court (Mthatha), said the judge, was to ensure the award reflected the importance of the right to personal liberty and the seriousness with which any arbitrary deprivation of personal liberty was viewed in SA law.

‘Groundbreaking’ ruling on right to protest

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 25 January 2018
Civil Rights Litigation
The Western Cape High Court has ruled that peaceful protests without notice to authorities will now be allowed. A Cape Argus report says the groundbreaking ruling followed a Social Justice Coalition (SJC) appeal challenging the criminalisation of the Regulation of Gatherings Act (RGA).

Landmark housing delivery judgment

A precedent-setting judgment by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) will have significant implications for thousands of people waiting for government-subsidised housing, and for state institutions dragging their feet over housing delivery. GroundUp reports that the City of Ekurhuleni was ordered to build 133 houses by 31 December this year for successful applicants, some who have been waiting as long as 20 years.

Gay prisoners to raise jail discrimination

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 19 January 2018
Civil Rights Criminal Law
Gender identity and discrimination in SA's prisons will come under the spotlight in two separate matters expected to be heard in the courts soon, Mail & Guardian Online reports. Jade September, a transgender woman, has started proceedings against the Department of Correctional Services for discrimination suffered at various prison facilities because of her gender identity and expression.

English ruled to be official language at university

The University of the Free State’s sole language of instruction is now officially English after the Constitutional Court refused AfriForum leave to appeal a judgment of the SCA that upheld the university's appeal against a High Court order which said the policy decision was unlawful. A BusinessLIVE report notes AfriForum and Solidarity had appealed to the Constitutional Court, after the SCA overturned the judgment of the Free State High Court (Bloemfontein), which reviewed and set aside the language policy adopted by the university senate in 2016.

State to petition SCA to appeal Fireblade ruling

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 11 December 2017
Aviation Law Civil Rights Litigation
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.

The Supreme Court of Appeal says trial courts need to be more vigilant

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Civil Rights Criminal Law
The SCA has set aside a murder conviction and sentence imposed on Lefu Jantjie Bakane‚ because of the unlawful manner in which a confession was obtained from him. A TimesLIVE report notes Bakane and three other men were found guilty in 2009 of the murder of Johannes Albertus Maré.

Graduates awaiting certificates planning class action

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Civil Rights Education Law Litigation
Tired of having their lives on hold for up to six years, college students are being given the pro bono assistance of a law firm to launch a class action against the state for not ensuring they receive their certificates of graduation, according to a City Press report. Keneilwe Molawa, a former student at Motheo technical and vocational education and training college in Bloemfontein, has been trying to get her civil engineering and building construction national vocational certificate since 2010.

Gigaba bid to appeal luxury terminal ruling

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Aviation Law Civil Rights Litigation
The Oppenheimers’ plans to run customs and immigration services at OR Tambo International Airport is on hold for now, pending the outcome of possible appeal proceedings against last month’s Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) judgment in favour of the family, notes a Pretoria News report.

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