December 2015


Gone fishing Platteland Perspective December 2015

Going fishing is not always the relaxing fun you might imagine. This is a story about a man whose life and business prospects underwent a sea change while he was on a fishing trip.

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The Factaprops Case Financial Law December 2015

Extrinsic Prescription is a trite principle in our law and is codified in the Prescription Act (68 of 1969). In terms of the Act, different periods of extinctive prescription are applicable to different categories of debt. Whilst one cannot argue that extrinsic prescription is applicable in our law, to what extent can one argue that a certain type of debt does or does not fit into a particular category?

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Crisis cartels – can an economic downturn justify cartel conduct? Competition Law December 2015

In times of economic strife, competitors may attempt to work together in order to stay afloat. In South Africa, the impact of a weak rand, for example, has previously been the impetus for competitors to coordinate their conduct. Several cartel cases prosecuted by the competition authorities (for example, in airlines, scrap metal, and canned fruit) have arisen out of dire financial circumstances in a particular sector.

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Tales from the US of A . . . Dec 2015 International December 2015

Two married judges in romantic relationship

Two married Illinois judges tried to keep their romantic relationships secret but created more issues for themselves. Part of the problem was that the female judge was married to a lawyer who had cases – including a trial – in front of the other judge in the relationship. The lawyer forced the judge to recuse himself. But the judge denied the relationship when questioned by the chief judge at the time. He had already tried at least one three-day trial of one of the lawyer's cases. A judicial board of enquiry has charged the two judges with conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice. A decision is awaited. Both are now divorced and they plan to marry.

Martha Neil November 3

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The World in November - Dec 2015 International December 2015

Sacramento has passed new transportation rules in an attempt to attract the middle classes. Some make for interesting reading: passengers will no longer be permitted to get on a bus or train unless they are covered "above and below the waist"; they will be banned from playing sound equipment audible to other passengers; banned from sleeping on a train that has reached the end of the line. Those who don't comply may be removed. One measure was removed from the rules (I have to say I would definitely have left this one on): removing people who let off noxious odours. Pam Haney, an advocacy co-ordinator, said the rules appeared to be discriminatory, "It seems as though the primary goal of this change is enabling them (the authorities) to have an administrative route to be additionally discriminatory toward homeless people."

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Property Development Schemes (“PDS”) Africa - Mauritius December 2015

The Property Development Scheme or PDS was created by the government of Mauritius as a successor to the previous schemes – Integrated Resort Schemes (IRS) and Residential Estate Schemes (RES), and has been in place since December 2014.

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The competence of labour courts to decide on claims for non-material or moral damages Africa - Mozambique December 2015

This article is written in light of a somewhat controversial practice observed in Mozambiquan Labour Courts whereby, in the implementation of labour contracts, the injured party presents a claim for compensation for non-material damages (pain and suffering) alongside a claim for damages for breach of rights under the employment contract.

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A mere workplace practice? Employment Law December 2015

In the case of Cele and Others v Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd LC (JS1086/12) [2015] ZALCJHB 271, the Labour Court looked at whether an erroneous payment made by an employer to its employees for over 10 years could lead to the payments forming part of the employees' terms and conditions of employment.

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Secretly recorded meetings Employment Law December 2015

Given the widespread availability of phones, devices and apps which enable a user to easily record conversations, and the need to hide or disguise the device, the tendering of digital recordings by employees of meetings, conversations or discussions with their employers, as evidence in disputes, is becoming more frequent. However, is the act of recording a private conversation in secret, without informing the employer that it is being done, a form of actionable misconduct?

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Pay your maintenance Family Law December 2015

The Maintenance Amendment Bill was tabled in parliament in early November, and has subsequently been passed and sent to the President for assent. The Bill proposes 18 amendments to the current Maintenance Act (99 of 1998), in order to provide clarity on the lodging of complaints relating to maintenance payments, and the enforcement of complaints and maintenance orders.

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Is dividends tax payable? Tax December 2015

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) released Binding Private Ruling 209 (BPR 209) on 21 October. This deals with whether dividends tax must be withheld from dividends distributed in cash by a company to a discretionary trust that in turn distributes such dividends to the beneficiaries of the trust. The beneficiaries of the trust are either employees of the company or its subsidiaries.

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Send in the drones Aviation Law December 2015

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) recognised an urgent need for regulation of drones or Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPA) to ensure the safe operation of this technology within our local airspace. This culminated in the drafting of regulations in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which came into effect on 1 July.

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Offshore assets in deceased estates Law of Succession December 2015

Is it necessary to have a separate Will regulating the distribution of assets in a foreign jurisdiction?

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Contractual fairness v certainty Contract Law December 2015

The recent Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Act, which conferred jurisdiction upon the Constitutional Court in non-constitutional matters, has resulted in a worrying trend to temper the fundamental internationally recognised principles of "freedom of contract" and "contracts must be honoured" with fairness and public policy. It has introduced uncertainty into our law of contract. "Freedom of contract" broadly means that one is free to decide whether, with whom and on what terms to contract, while "contracts must be honoured" requires exact enforcement by the courts of valid contractual obligations.

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....and from elsewhere - September 2006 International - Law December 2015

Law Lords produce best-seller

The Law Lords took a massive leap into the mid-1980s last week, as they became the first appeal court to use computers during a trial.

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