Legal Articles and Guides
The Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday that a proponent of allowing the terminally ill to die with dignity through the legalisation of euthanasia, Sean Davison – arrested and charged with one murder – may be charged with several more. A Cape Times report says born in New Zealand and known worldwide for helping his mother Pat (85) to die following her battle with cancer, Davison (57) was arrested this week and appeared in court on a charge of premeditated murder relating to the 2013 assisted suicide of Anrich Burger, who was left a quadriplegic after an accident in 2005.
A long-running battle between an Mpumalanga businessman and conservationist, Fred Daniel, who obtained an interim protection order against Deputy President David Mabuza to prevent the former Premier from allegedly trying to run him off his land in the Great Nkomazi River Valley, took a turn in the Carolina Magistrate’s Court recently when a new magistrate hearing the matter was asked to recuse himself.
A probe into a lawyer who was not a lawyer faces the daunting task, says a Times Select report. Evidence against the man known by three names (Patel Muhamed, Mohamed Ismail and Muhamed Ismail Patel) shows he allegedly defrauded Absa of about R17m, faked his legal qualification, and is said to have bribed staff at the office of the Master of the High Court to steal files.
The Health Department has vowed to defend the right not to hand over private medical records of listeriosis patients to lawyers acting for Tiger Brands, reports Times Select. Tiger Brands wants the names and health information of every patient who contracted listeriosis, including what other diseases they had and autopsy information, the news site says.
A demand for R3m in damages for alleged plagiarism by two academic doctors has been served on the University of Fort Hare (UFH) by a former Masters student, says a Daily Dispatch report. The two education faculty academics, Dr Jane Abongdia and her husband Dr John Wankha Foncha, are accused of using Nomalizo Mazwayi’s work without her knowledge and presenting it as their own in an edition of the Journal of Social Science published in 2014.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has refused to approve a surrogacy agreement between a gay couple who are not living together as a ‘family unit’. According to a Beeld report, Judge Ronel Tolmay raised concerns about one of the partners, a medical specialist, who is worried that his paternity through surrogacy would reveal his sexual orientation to colleagues.
Veteran attorney and former co-chair of the Law Society of SA Silas Nkanunu has fallen foul of the society’s provincial arm, which is seeking to interdict him from practising until he gets his fidelity fund certificate, says a Daily Dispatch report. The Cape Law Society claims in court papers that Nkanunu – a partner in Port Elizabeth firm Silas Nkanunu & Van Loggerenberg – has been practising throughout 2017 without a fidelity fund certificate.
Alleged fake lawyer Brenda Wardle, who regularly provided legal analysis for prominent news organisations for years, was yesterday adamant she would conduct her own defence in her fraud trial involving more than R0.5m. Not only will Wardle prepare her own papers for trial, she told the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court that she also wants to conduct her own defence at her intended bail appeal.
Penguin Random House SA acted swiftly yesterday to withdraw Dr Vejay Ramlakan’s book as legal action looms. The Star reports this came after the executors of Nelson Mandela’s estate – Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Advocate George Bizos and Judge Themba Sangoni – stepped in to consider laying a complaint with the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) and the SANDF.
Former President Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel, has threatened to sue Mandela’s doctor Vejay Ramlakan over his newly released book, Mandela’s Last Years, according to a City Press report. Ramlakan reportedly details Mandela’s last years, including intimate moments prior to his death. Machel has slammed the book, saying it is degrading and tarnishes the image of the struggle icon.
A bogus lawyer who forged his degree – and possibly a court order confirming his admission as a High Court advocate – is causing havoc in Free State courts, says a report in The Times. Mosebetsi Mofokeng was struck off the Pretoria Bar’s roll of advocates a year ago. Now judges at the Free State High Court (Bloemfontein) have ordered new trials for at least five alleged criminals he was representing.
Doctors have accused SA’s biggest medical aid schemes of spying on them and sneaking hidden cameras into their consulting rooms. The healthcare practitioners also claim the schemes are guilty of withholding payment from doctors without proof of misconduct. A Sunday Times report says these claims are contained in documents filed in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) by the National Healthcare Professionals Association, in a claim against 19 medical aid schemes.
Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has found himself the focus of a searing SCA judgment handed down last week with regard to his conduct in another matter involving the alleged theft of R48-million by a businessman. The man was represented in court by the same attorney representing Hlophe in pending disciplinary proceedings before the Judicial Services Commission over allegations that the Judge President approached two Justices of the Constitutional Court in 2008 in an attempt to improperly influence that court’s pending judgment in a case involving Jacob Zuma. Hlophe was excoriated by the SCA for potential bias in ruling in favour of the crooked businessman.
The JSC says it is studying the SCA judgment – first reported in Legalbrief Today last week – which linked the Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe to a ‘reasonable apprehension’ of bias when ruling in favour of his personal lawyer in a multi-million lawsuit.
Controversial Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe is back in the spotlight following his contested handling of a High Court matter involving allegations of a multi-mi llion rand fraud. One side in the dispute claimed they had a ‘reasonable apprehension’ that the judge was biased against them. And the SCA has now set aside Hlophe’s disputed orders and findings, agreeing that, given his behaviour, this ‘apprehension’ was justified, notes leading legal writer Carmel Rickard in a report on the Legalbrief Today site.