November 2015


South Africa: through a telescope Accounting November 2015

The contrasting outlook for the country appears to be at an economic watershed, dividing South Africa like the great escarpment. Is South Africa headed toward the "RW Johnson route" – an IMF bailout in the next few years, or, the direction based on government forecasts of economic growth (5.4%pa) with increased employment resulting in a reduction of poverty (the aims of the national development plan 2030)? Based on independent forecasts, and declining levels of confidence, it appears that the former is more likely, albeit not as entirely pessimistic.

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“It does exactly what it says on the tin” Advertising Law Book Review November 2015

"A guide to the Code of Advertising Practice" by Gail Schimmel

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Share incentive schemes dividends Tax November 2015

Many South African companies seek to incentivise their employees by allowing them to participate in the ownership of the company, directly or indirectly. Complex share incentive plans are not uncommon.

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Foreign UK property owners to be exposed Tax November 2015

Due to increased concern that the UK property market, particularly London and the South-East, has been used by foreigners to launder money, the British government has announced that the Land Registry will shortly publish the full list of 10 000 titles held by foreign companies.

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A blind commitment or strategic approach? Tax November 2015

Will a carbon tax be promulgated into law by 2016? Government seems to think so. Finance Minister Nhlanlha Nene, in his February Budget speech, confirmed that a carbon tax would be implemented in 2016, and a draft Carbon Tax Bill would be published for public comment during the course of 2015.

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Looking after your domain Intellectual Property November 2015

There's been a fair bit of activity in the area of domain names of late. Issues regarding .co.za names are generally handled under the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulations that were passed under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act. On 15 September, an interesting ADR decision was handed down. Interesting because of the legal principles involved, and interesting because it was so topical.

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Unconstitutional and unlawful? Pension Law November 2015

Selecting a pension fund is an important decision, one which is usually made after a great deal of careful research and weighty consideration. However, imagine if there was simply no choice at all.

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The World in October - November 2015 International November 2015

It doesn't pay to sleep at a baseball match. Andrew Rector appeared to snooze through a standing ovation after the Yankees scored a home run during a New York Yankees game against the Boston Red Sox in April last year. He became the butt end of jocular comments by announcers on ESPN Television channel and a video clip was posted online. Rector claimed to have suffered emotional distress as a result and sued for $10m. The Bronx Supreme Court judge said the comments were not defamatory and Rector's "fame" lasted a mere 31 seconds out of three-hours. His lawyer said he had told his client that "there is room for appeal". The ruling was made in August but was only highlighted at the beginning of October.

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Tales from the US of A... - November 2015 International November 2015

Weeds are not protected by the First Amendment

A property owner challenged Chicago's weed ordinance, which prohibits weeds on private property to grow unchecked to a height exceeding 10 inches (25.5 cm). The plaintiff challenged the ordinance on the basis of First Amendment freedom of expression grounds, which the court found ridiculous. The court said that there was no "expressive dimension" in growing weeds. It was not as if the plaintiff invented, planted, nurtured, died or otherwise beautified its weeds. It just didn't want to be bothered with having to have them clipped. The plaintiff also challenged the penalties (ranging from $600 to $1 200) on the basis of the Eighth Amendment ban on excessive fines. The court held the fines were not excessive even assuming the Eighth Amendment applied. Debra Cassens Weiss September 30

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The end of confidentiality? Litigation November 2015

It is accepted that one of the fundamental principles under the South African Constitution is openness and transparency. Section 32 specifically enshrines the right of access to any information held by the state, and any information held by another person that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights. The rights contained in the Bill of Rights are subject to the limitations in s36, or elsewhere in the Bill of Rights. It is, therefore, also accepted that rights may be limited in terms of law of general application to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors.

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The Oscar Pistorius trial – some of the issues explained The Law November 2015

P a r t 1

Since the start of the Oscar Pistorius trial, a lot of legal jargon has been used in the corridors of the courtroom, and at almost every social gathering. A worldwide frenzy erupted regarding certain principles of the South African Criminal Law and Procedure. I have explained many of these issues in various media.

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Unravelling the Turquand Rule The Law November 2015

The recent Western Cape High Court decision of Rogers J in One Stop Financial Services (Pty) Ltd v Neffensaan Ontwikkelings (Pty) Ltd and Another [2015] JOL 33371 (WCC) concerned an application for provisional liquidation. In addition to reaffirming the general principles relating to the application, the court discussed the Turquand Rule and clarified the effect of the statutory Turquand Rule on the common law rule.

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Devil in the details The Law November 2015

ENTER AT OWN RISK. Sometimes it is necessary to sign an indemnity agreement before entering areas such as business zones, parking lots, building, events and facilities. In other instances, there is nothing to sign but the placards of disclaimers mounted on the walls soon tell you that the managers and owners of the property will not accept liability for any injury you suffer as a result of your visit. But are these disclaimers and indemnity agreements sufficient to protect the owners? Before tackling this question, one needs to consider the meaning of an indemnity.

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Rock & Roll Quiz Lifestyle Quiz November 2015

It's holiday season again and long hours in close proximity with your family and in-laws beckon. Take the edge off the experience with this Rock 'n' Roll quiz. Questions range from the easy to the fiendishly difficult. Check your score at the end and feel free to torment your nearest and dearest with the rock trivia mentioned throughout.

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Justice for survivors of gender-based violence Probono November 2015

The post-apartheid commitment to development and nation building, and the African Renaissance have not, as yet, provided women, particularly those from poorer communities, with the necessary resources to facilitate their empowerment.

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