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Civil Rights

‘Dagga couple’ seeks input on ConCourt case

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 13 October 2017
Civil Rights Litigation
Myrtle Clarke and Julian Stobbs – the so-called ‘dagga couple’ – embroiled in a court fight over legalisation of cannabis‚ want to join a second legal battle. Their case in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has been postponed until next year‚ but this week they filed an application to the Constitutional Court to be admitted as friends of the court in another case, says a TimesLIVE report.

Garnishee fraud remains rampant

Despite the Constitutional Court’s landmark ruling on the illegality of certain practices in the administration of garnishee orders – made more than a year ago – activists claim that fee-gouging and fraudulent court orders are continuing unabated, according to Business Day. Lisinda Bailey, one of the applicants in the Western Cape High Court case on garnishee orders that was confirmed by the Constitutional Court, says her life was ruined by the irresponsible granting of credit and subsequent garnishees.

Why 118 Life Esidimeni patients died – ombud

The fear of challenging authority, coupled with the reluctance to take accountability, is what led to the deaths of 118 patients under the care of the Gauteng provincial government. This is according to Health Ombudsman Malegapuru William Makgoba, who was the first witness to present evidence to an arbitration committee set up to probe the deaths of the patients, notes a Business Day report.

Bond defaulters must be told of rights

Home-owners who default on their bond payments should not despair as they will not lose their property if they pay before it is sold. The Star reports this was the message from Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) acting Judge JG Rautenbach, who said people often threw in the towel when they received an order that they had to repay the outstanding bond, as well as an order declaring that the property may be sold so that the bank could recover its losses.

Pistorius family to sue over new movie

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Wednesday, 04 October 2017
Civil Rights Litigation Media Law
Oscar Pistorius’ family says a new film released on Monday showed a ' blatant disregard' for both his and Reeva Steenkamp’s family, and are taking legal action against the movie-makers. According to a TimesLIVE report, the Pistorius family dismissed the movie as a 'gross misrepresentation of the truth' and said neither Oscar, his family nor the defence were involved or consulted about the production.

ConCourt decision halts partial demolition of property

The Constitutional Court has refused to hear a bid to overturn the SCA’s ruling that a nine-storey development – in Currie Road on Durban’s Berea – did not have to be partially demolished. The court said an application for leave to appeal bore no prospects of success, notes a report in The Mercury. The development has been the source of discord between neighbouring residents and the developer, Serengeti Rise Industries, since October 2014.

Small Businesses and POPI: Not Crying Wolf This Time?

POPI (the Protection of Personal Information Act) will provide welcome protection for our personal information – our names, ID numbers, addresses, medical histories and so on, but the other side of the coin is that it will expose small businesses in particular to a whole new raft of onerous obligations and risks.

Court seals need to disclose party funding

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 28 September 2017
Administrative Law Civil Rights Litigation
The Western Cape High Court has ruled that Parliament must amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) so that political parties will be compelled to disclose the source of their private funding, says a News24 report. Judge Yasmin Meer ruled that Parliament has 18 months to rectify ‘inconsistencies’ in PAIA, following an application from the NGO, My Vote Counts.

Asylum seekers must apply for visas outside SA

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 28 September 2017
Civil Rights Immigration Law Litigation
The SCA has ruled that asylum seekers may no longer apply for any type of visa while they are in SA and must do so before entering. A Cape Times report notes the judgment comes after Home Affairs Minister and department DG appealed a previous High Court ruling that asylum seekers were entitled to apply for visitors and work visas while in the country.

Court stops brother's eviction of sister

The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has come to the rescue of a 68-year-old woman who was about to be evicted from her home, says a TimesLIVE report. Mary Rahube launched an application to declare that she is the owner of the property in Mabopane on which she has lived since 1977.

Terminally ill pair in new bid to legalise euthanasia

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 19 September 2017
Civil Rights Health Care & Social Litigation
A medical doctor and one of her patients have filed a combined application in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) requesting the court to legalise euthanasia. A Beeld report notes that Dr Sue Walter (43) – a specialist in palliative care – and patient Dieter Harck (68) are both terminally ill with cancer and motor-neuron disease respectively.

Spooks shouldn't control cyber security

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 14 September 2017
Civil Rights
The State Security Agency should not have control over cyber security, the Right2Know (R2K) Campaign said in Parliament this week, according to a News24 report. R2K was among several organisations that made submissions to the Justice and Correctional Services Committee on the Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Bill. ‘In its current form it will potentially censor freedom of speech,’ said R2K's Karabo Rajuili.

Court hears of travel costs to work after evictions

‘If you get sent to Wolwerivier, what is the chance that you will be able to get out of Wolwerivier, or are you essentially going on a permanent basis,’ asked Acting Judge Mark Sher in the eviction case of 27 residents of Bromwell Street, Woodstock. A GroundUp report says the families have returned to the Western Cape High Court where a new judge is now hearing the case. The families are facing eviction to Wolwerivier after the Woodstock Hub bought the property on which they live.

Children's rights at issue in Muslim marriages case

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 05 September 2017
Civil Rights Family Law Litigation
Children’s rights came into focus in the Western Cape High Court yesterday as arguments to have Muslim marriages recognised under common law continued, notes a report in The Mercury. Advocate Michelle O’Sullivan, for the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), argued that because Muslim marriages were not recognised, when couples divorced there was no automatic court oversight for the well-being of minors. This included issues such as where children would live, and orders on maintenance payments.

Cape Town evicts illegal shackdwellers

More than 700 structures were demolished by City Law Enforcement agencies over the weekend. According to a Cape Argus report, this comes days after the Western Cape High Court dismissed an application to evict 60 000 people living in the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi. Three mass land invasions in Khayelitsha prompted the City to demolish at least 751 occupied and unoccupied structures.

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