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Property Law

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Legal fraternity fights move on property transfers

A company which claims to have a business model to deal with the day to day administrative aspects of property transfers has run up against the legal fraternity, which says transfers in law are the preserve of conveyancers or legal practitioners, notes Legalbrief.

Families draw first blood in Glencore land battle

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Thursday, 25 January 2018
Litigation Property Law
Six families in a Mpumalanga village emerged victorious in court this week after winning the first round of their long-running legal battle against mining firm Glencore. The Star reports while many families in GGV village – located in the coal-rich Emalahleni – have given in to Glencore’s pressure to relocate to a township 8km away, six families have stuck to their guns, refusing to relocate.

Landmark housing delivery judgment

A precedent-setting judgment by the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) will have significant implications for thousands of people waiting for government-subsidised housing, and for state institutions dragging their feet over housing delivery. GroundUp reports that the City of Ekurhuleni was ordered to build 133 houses by 31 December this year for successful applicants, some who have been waiting as long as 20 years.

Can expropriation without compensation succeed?

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 09 January 2018
Property Law
Although ‘expropriation without compensation’ might sound like a simple solution to the delays surrounding land reform in SA, things are hardly ever as simple as they seem, notes North-West University Associate law Professor Elmien du Plessis. In a thought-provoking piece on the HuffPost SA site, she notes the Expropriation Act's definitions for ‘market value’ and ‘just and equitable’ compensation raises the question as to whether zero compensation can ever be ‘just and equitable’.

Co-Ownership: Owners with Restrictions

By Esmeraldo and Associates Published on Thursday, 21 December 2017
Property Law
Private ownership of property is vital to both our freedom and our prosperity. Economic depression has caused many to be forced to select the option of co-ownership. Co-ownership has enabled those to acquire property that they could possibly not have afforded to purchase on their own. The idea of co-owning is much more appealing than co-renting from some people, as one can be paying for their own bond instead of investing in a fixed asset for someone else.

'Ubuntu' argument dismissed in hotel eviction case

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Friday, 15 December 2017
Landlord Tenant Law Litigation Property Law
The operators of Cape Town's Garden Court hotel will turn to the Constitutional Court to avoid eviction, TimesLIVE reports. The 292-room hotel, operated by Tsogo Sun, has been ordered by the SCA to vacate the premises in Woodstock by 31 March for failure to pay its monthly rent of R694 585 in 2014.

Salem land is common ground

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Constitutional Law Litigation Property Law
The indigenous community of Salem in the Eastern Cape does not have exclusive rights to the thousand hectares of valuable farmland that makes up the Salem Commonage‚ the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday in dismissing the settlers’ appeal against judgments of the Land Claims Court and the SCA.

Municpal employees linked to property scam

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Criminal Law Property Law
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has more than quadrupled its property portfolio after uncovering a scam it believes has fleeced the metro out of hundreds of millions of rands. The discovery, which implicates several municipal employees, comes after a land audit revealed thousands of ‘off the books’ properties owned by the municipality all over the Bay.

Banks class action set for High Court

With the Constitutional Court having refused to hear the R60bn class action suit launched against the major lending banks, the case is heading to the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) early in the new year. The class action suit was filed in the Constitutional Court in August by more than 225 applicants whose homes were repossessed and sold at sheriffs’ auctions for a fraction of their market value.

Shelter’s rules diminish people's rights

The Constitutional Court has held that the rules of the temporary shelter provided by the City of Johannesburg infringed on the residents’ rights to dignity‚ freedom and security of the person and privacy. A TimesLIVE report says the shelter not only did not allow spouses to sleep together but that residents had to leave in the morning and return before lockdown every night.

Alleged housing scam revealed in three cases

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Monday, 27 November 2017
Criminal Law Property Law
In three separate matters before the Durban Commercial Crimes Court, five suspects, including Clare Estate attorney Ajay Deba, have been accused of fraud and theft for their alleged involvement in the illegal sale of numerous properties in Phoenix, says a Sunday Tribune report. The scams, which began in 2014, include falsely advertising houses for sale without the knowledge of the owner. Narisha Ramsunder is accused of colluding with Christine Boalch and Stephanie Pillay and scamming people who wanted to buy property in Westham, Phoenix, last year.

ConCourt decision fails to stop dodgy

Johannesburg attorney Gilad Cohen believes the Constitutional Court’s decision to dismiss an application to access the court by defaulting debtors who cannot meet their home loan payments does not help to alleviate unscrupulous behaviour by resellers, according to a Business Day report.

Sales in execution application dismissed by top court

By Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd Published on Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Constitutional Law Litigation Property Law
An application for direct access to the Constitutional Court on behalf of some 200 people, objecting to the conduct of the nation’s largest banks and home loan providers in attaching and selling the homes of defaulting debtors at prices below market value, has been dismissed, says a Moneyweb report.

Court strikes down private estate's apartheid-style rules

Private estates cannot enforce road traffic law or ‘domestic rules’ similar to the curfews and pass laws of the apartheid era‚ the KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) has ruled. A TimesLIVE report notes the judgment ended a long-running case brought by Niemesh Singh‚ a resident of Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate‚ who argued that speed trapping in the estate was unlawful.

Court rules for judge's widow on marital assets

Former Mthatha Judge Duncan Dukada’s widow Hlombekazi Dukada will get half of most of the assets accumulated during their 40-year marriage despite their holding separate estates in terms of their marriage property regime, notes a Saturday Dispatch report. The Eastern Cape High Court (Mthatha) ruled that Dukada and his wife had formed a tacit partnership agreement during 1990 in respect of their family businesses and that they had conducted their growing empire – which included hardware stores, a bookshop, tiling and supermarket franchises – as equal partners until the death of Dukada last year.

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