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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.

English is language of record in courts

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 02 October 2017
General Legal Practice
English will be the only language of record in SA courts, according to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. ‘Nobody is saying South Africans are not permitted to speak in their mother tongue in a court of law. We are just saying, to facilitate efficiency and a smooth running of the court system ... We (should) have everything that is said in a particular case captured in one language that is understood by all the judges – and that language is English,’ he is quoted as saying in a News24 report.

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.

Time to cap medical malpractice claims

Attorneys have gravitated to medical malpractice claims as a source of revenue after changes in compensation offered by the Road Accident Fund. Medical malpractice underwriters are questioning the sustainability of their insurance products following the explosion of the medical litigation industry, says medical rapporteur Melody Emmett in an analysis in Business Day.

Investors short-changed by 95 cents in rand

Investors in Herman Pretorius’ Relative Arbitrage Trust Fund should prepare themselves for a return of as little as five cents in the rand, according to a provisional liquidation and distribution account filed by the liquidators. Die Burger reports that the account shows only R63m available for distribution.

Ombud refers pensioner’s Sharemax complaint to court

A pensioner who invested in various property syndication schemes promoted and marketed by Sharemax Investments and Propspec, and was seeking the repayment of R1.54m he invested and lost in these schemes, has had his complaint referred to court. Pieter Taljaard filed eight complaints with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (Fais) Ombud in 2012 on the investments, according to a report in The Sunday Indpendent.

Top attorney in LSSA dispute over certificate

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 11 August 2017
Ethics General Legal Practice Litigation
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.

Sting operation busts human trafficking ring

A sting operation by the SAPS, the Hawks and Interpol has foiled a human-trafficking incident that could have led to at least 14 young women from as many countries falling prey to a fake Internet modelling competition, notes a Sunday Tribune report. Among the women who were lured to the web-based scheme was a 24-year-old South African from Bloemfontein, while others came from as far as Barbados and several Asian countries.

Move to mediation to cut medico-legal claims

Skyrocketing medico-legal claims threaten to cripple SA’s public and private health sectors as specialists face exorbitant litigation. Without drastic intervention, experts warn, healthcare could soon become unaffordable – or unavailable. Meanwhile, legal experts say mediation could be a solution hiding in plain sight, notes a Bhekisisa report.

Lawyers urged not to delay sheriffs' payments

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 27 June 2017
General Legal Practice
The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) has urged lawyers not to delay the payment of sheriffs' accounts to the last possible date following what is described as ‘a very productive meeting’ with the Deputy Minister of Justice, John Jeffery, notes Legalbrief.

Cancer suits could run to millions

The KZN Department of Health faces legal action from state cancer patients running into millions of rands following the recent finding it had violated their rights to care and treatment, says a Sunday Tribune report. ‘We are already seeing a spike in queries following the ruling and are consulting with some clients around this matter. The ruling against the department by the SA Human Rights Commission is precedent-setting even though it is yet to be tested in court,’ lawyer Ahmed Amod said.

Van Breda wins live-streaming battle

Murder-accused Henri van Breda has won his battle in the SCA to prohibit Media24 from live-streaming his trial, notes a News24 report. ‘The matter is remitted to the High Court for reconsideration in accordance with the principles set out in the judgment,’ the SCA ruled yesterday, ordering Media24 to pay Van Breda's costs.

Analysis: Time for Judge Hlophe to face the music

By General News Published on Wednesday, 14 June 2017
Ethics General Legal Practice
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.

JSC studying SCA's Hlophe bias judgment

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Ethics General Legal Practice Litigation
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.

Bank's reliance on 'accelerator' clause dismissed

The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has refused to enforce an ‘accelerator’ clause in a home loan agreement based on a 2016 Constitutional Court judgment making it much more difficult for banks to take back the homes of defaulters, a Beeld report notes.

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