Legal Articles and Guides
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It was never going to end in the Western Cape High Court. A Cape Times report says this was the statement from Judge Elizabeth Baartman yesterday of the case involving the future of about 200 rural pupils, as she granted the Grootkraal community leave to have their case heard in the SCA.
One of SA’s top real estate companies that has admitted being the unwitting source of the largest known personal data breach to date in the country claims to have ascertained that the dump of personal information – estimated at 31.6m records – includes the estimated income‚ addresses and cellphone numbers of the likes of President Jacob Zuma‚ Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Organised agriculture and lawyers are up in arms about the government’s stated intention to expropriate seven farms in Limpopo for the R57m compensation set by the relatively new Valuer-General, says Rapport. The seven land owners are refusing to accept the valuation of the Valuer-General as fair compensation.
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.
The SCA has overturned a Land Claims Court judgment that effectively found that market value was not the most important consideration when determining compensation for properties identified for land expropriation, says a Business Day report. In the case between a landowner, who was seeking compensation for land claimed by Msindo Msiza, a labour tenant, the SCA, in a ruling that questioned state land reform guidelines, decided the residential development potential of the land was not a factor and should not determine compensation.
The SCA has upheld a Durban judge’s ruling that the eThekwini municipality has no claim to a plot of land it auctioned off in 1985. The Mercury reports the battle for the 700m² of undeveloped land in Verulam first found its way to the courts in 2014. The city contended that the current owners, Mounthaven Pty Ltd, had not complied with the ‘special conditions’ under which they originally bought the land.
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.
How does the recent Constitutional Court decision [Jordaan and Others v City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and Others; City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality v New Ventures Consulting and Services (Pty) Limited and Others; Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality v Livanos and Others (CCT283/16, CCT293/16, CCT294/16, CCT283/16)  ZACC 31] on “historical rates” affect you in practice?
Optic fibre is bringing “superfast broadband” to an exponentially-increasing number of South African homes and businesses. And competition in the field is fierce. Which is great for us as consumers, but if you live or work in a “community scheme” there’s a catch. How does your chosen supplier physically run fibre cabling to your individual properties?
‘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.
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.
The City of Cape Town is bracing itself for another round of litigation following the Western Cape High Court ruling that it should expropriate the land where the Marikana community has settled if there is no other option, Rapport reports. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, the High Court dismissed an application to evict 60 000 people living in the Philippi area. The city was ordered to negotiate with the owners to buy the land and to expropriate it if necessary.
A former shop tenant who took the management of Dragon City Wholesale Mall in Fordsburg, Johannesburg, to court in a bid to retake control of his business has had his urgent application dismissed and been told to pay all legal fees, says a Saturday Star report. Bareket Gebru, who initially leased out two shops at the centre, accused the landlords of using their bodyguards to forcefully remove, intimidate and assault him, as well as holding at least R500 000 worth of stock to ransom.
The Constitutional Court has ruled that municipalities cannot hold a new property owner liable for a previous owner’s historical municipal debt. A Moneyweb report says the precedent-setting ruling gives relief to home and business owners, who have been saddled with years of historical municipal debt – as long as 20 years – and have been denied municipal services until the debt had been paid.
More than 225 applicants, mostly from Gauteng townships, have launched a suit in the Constitutional Court, claiming damages from the big banks for home repossession abuse. A GroundUp report says the applicants are claiming R60bn from the banks for unlawful repossession of homes since the Constitution came into effect in 1994.