February 2009


From My Window - February 2009 From My Window February 2009

The legal fraternity hasn't had the happiest start to a new year. According to press reports, the Johannesburg High Court is in an almost unbelievable state of chaos – most of the lifts don't work (The Star reported that 13 people had been stuck in one of the lifts, the only one operational, for an hour, a prospect that would terrify even hardened criminals), neither does the air-conditioning (which means the courts themselves become unbearable). It is, frankly, a mess – invariably dirty and slovenly in addition to falling down. I'm surprised the judges have put up with it for so long.

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Criminalising HIV Medical Law February 2009

On November 12 last year, in Groningen, Netherlands, two men were sentenced to prison terms of nine and five years in what had been one of the most sensational cases involving HIV issues to date. They had confessed to drugging and raping men, and then injecting them with HIV infected blood, at gay parties organised over the internet, between January 2006 and May 2007.

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Boobs and burgers Advertising February 2009

Nando's really does seem to have the edge in its advertising campaigns: through being cleverly satirical of many of the rainbow nation's quirks, they invariably elicit a laugh (or at least a muffled giggle) from viewers. Nando's is, excuse the pun, sometimes put in the 'hot seat' for its commercials.

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In the beginning Advertising February 2009

The beginning of the year is a good time to return to basics, and re-examine the principles of advertising law we all learnt in Contracts 101. But, far from being a simple academic exercise, this is an important issue in the face of s23 of the Consumer Protection Bill.

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Safe-keeping? Banking Law February 2009

A bank's liability for loss of assets deposited for safe-keeping is a little-known aspect of the law, no doubt because this only occurs in exceptional circumstances.

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Expats working in South Africa Tax February 2009

Under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (58 of 1962, as amended), persons treated as “resident" in South Africa are subject to tax on a world-wide basis. Those who aren't treated as resident, but rather are regarded as “non-resident" for tax purposes in the country, are only taxed on what is referred to as “South African sourced income."

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It still isn’t right Tax February 2009

In a previous article (without prejudice Nov 08, p31), I was strongly critical of the provisions of s23I of the Income Tax Act which came into operation on January 1 2009. Since then , the section has been rewritten and is to be substituted effective January 1 2009, once the Revenue Laws Amendment Bill (80 of 2008) has been enacted. The question that arises is whether the new provisions are an improvement or whether they are still subject to the same criticisms?

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Lifting the ownership veil Company Law February 2009

For decades South Africans have used nominee shareholders to hold their shares in companies to ensure their holdings remain 'off the radar'. At common law it is quite permissible for the registered holder of a share(s) to do so as an agent (or nominee) for the owner or beneficial shareholder of those shares.

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It’s all in a name – the registrar’s obligations Intellectual Property February 2009

The Transvaal High Court has given judgement in African Sun Hotels (Pty) Ltd v The Registrar of Companies and another, Case No. 58013/2007; a case which has implications about formal notices sent to a company at its registered address.

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Where angels fear to tread Intellectual Property February 2009

Folklore and other forms of what has become known internationally as “traditional knowledge," (that is artwork, stories and legends, traditional medicinal preparations, traditional symbols and the like originating from indigenous sources), have become items of commercial significance in the modern world. These forms of “property" are generally in the domain of indigenous communities and ethnic groups in many countries in Africa, including South Africa, and in countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

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When dominance is thrust upon you Competition Law February 2009

Being dominant is not a problem. It is the abuse of a dominant position that is forbidden by the Competition Act. This note deals with the possibility of firms inadvertently finding themselves in a dominant position and discusses the obligations of a dominant firm.1

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A change from the norm Competition Law February 2009

In deciding whether or not to confirm a settlement agreement as an order of the Competition Tribunal in terms of s49D of the Competition Act (89 of 99 as amended), the latter may not take into consideration any evidence other than that actually placed before it during the application for confirmation.

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The bounce is back Insurance Law February 2009

The English Appeal Court has reversed a lower court judgement in favour of an injured castle-bouncer (T Perry & Another v S D Harris [2008] EWCA Civ 907).

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Third parties & breadwinners Insurance Law February 2009

In a number of recent high profile matters, actions have been instituted against third par- ties who have allegedly caused the death of a bread winner. Here is an exposé of the principles developed by case law, which would entitle dependents of the deceased to sue.

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Beware the holes in exemption clauses Contract Law February 2009

When someone signs a contractual document, he agrees to be bound by its contents. This is a well- accepted principle of the law of contract.

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