Legal Articles and Guides
Lawyers acting for thousands of miners suffering from silicosis and TB have called on the state to review legislation regulating compensation for those who contract occupational lung diseases on the mines, according to a report in The Star. Richard Spoor, from Richard Spoor Inc, told the Parliament's Mineral Resources Committee that there was an urgent need for the state to reconsider the compensation system.
Oil giant BP has failed to have a private environmental prosecution against it withdrawn and will have to wait until May next year to plead to criminal charges – or to argue that it cannot be prosecuted, says a Mail & Guardian Online report. BP this week told the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) that it had as much right to a fair and swift criminal prosecution as any other accused and – if prosecutors were not ready to proceed – then the charges against it should be withdrawn.
An environmental organisation is taking the government and Kropz to court in a bid to stop the phosphate mine using water from the ancient Elandsfontein aquifer on the West Coast, according to a GroundUp report. The West Coast Environmental Protection Agency (WCEPA) has filed an urgent interdict in the Western Cape High Court against Kropz Elandsfontein (Pty) Ltd and the Minister and Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation.
“Please Sir, Can i have some more?” The need for more consumer protection when it comes to food safety
Consumer protection, which includes being given access to a safe and dependable supply of food, is a fundamental requirement of any society. In transforming the South African food landscape, there have been gradual improvements to protect consumers, most notable with the advent of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008. However, we still see unfit food products, especially in respect of mislabelled food products, reaching the store shelves.
Three young men appeared in the Barkly West Magistrate’s Court this week for allegedly poaching an extremely rare black oryx, believed to be the only one of its kind in SA and valued at around R8m, on a game farm outside Kimberley last year.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) yesterday gave the go-ahead for an online auction of rhino horns that has outraged conservationists, notes a report in The Citizen. SA authorities had moved to ban the three-day auction which they feared would undermine the global ban on rhino trade, refusing to issue a permit. But the High Court ruled in favour of the auction’s South African organiser John Hume, who runs the world’s biggest rhino farm.
Enviroserv could be fined millions of rand – and some of its senior officials sentenced to jail terms – should the criminal case against it, in connection with its Shongweni landfill site, succeed. The Mercury reports the case came before Magistrate Stanley Hlophe in the Durban Regional Court yesterday, when State Advocate Yuri Gangai announced that four more accused were being added.
Buffalo City Metro councillors want the city to approach the High Court for an interdict to prevent disgruntled residents from closing off the Zwelitsha wastewater treatment works project when they protest. A Daily Dispatch report notes that when protesters close the project, the metro loses millions of rands.
Coastal operations manager Clive Kidd is the latest Enviroserv official to be criminally charged alongside the company on several allegations of contravening environmental legislation at the Shongweni landfill site, according to a Sunday Tribune report. It notes that in April, the NPA charged waste management giant Enviroserv and its chief executive, Dean Thompson.
The Western Cape High Court yesterday lifted an interdict preventing existing and new entrants from operating in the Hake Inshore Trawl sector, says a Fin24 report. In January, Judge Lee Bozalek made an interim ruling after an application had been submitted by Viking Inshore Fishing, which was unhappy about the new quotas which came into effect since the beginning of 2017.
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.
The Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown) has granted the Eastern Cape Roads and Public Works Department leave to appeal a far-reaching judgment allowing farmers to fix their own damaged dirt roads and then bill the government, says a Daily Dispatch report. In March the court ordered the department to immediately begin implementing plans to repair and maintain its extensive and largely dysfunctional rural road network.
In declaring the nuclear procurement processes to be unlawful, the Western Cape High Court fired yet another warning to government about the irrational use of public power, notes Legalbrief. What the government argued was a decision based on ‘executive policy’, Judge Lee Bosalek, with Judge Elizabeth Baartman concurring, ruled was in fact ‘irrational and unreasonable’ because it ignored the public interest by skirting the requirement for a ‘rational and fair decision-making process’.
The Western Cape High Court has ordered that a full public participation process will have to take place to determine whether tree felling at Tokai Forest will resume, says a Cape Argus report. Judge Patrick Gamble’s ruling follows the battles between community-based organisation Parkscape against SA National Parks (SanParks) and Mountain To Ocean (MTO). Parkscape has been lobbying for trees and shade in the area.
The legal challenge mounted by two environmental NGOs to the nuclear deal with Russia – estimated to cost R1trn – which is under way in the Western Cape High Court, has been termed one of the most significant state capture court cases SA has yet seen, according to a Daily Maverick report. The two NGOs, Earthlife Africa and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, are squaring up against Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s pursuit of 9 600 megawatts of nuclear power.