April 2010


From My Window - April 2011 From My Window April 2010

Some things creep up on you unnoticed. It nearly happened to me with this issue – until my attention was drawn to the unusual number of stories dealing with outrageous incompetence or just plain judicial foolishness. Looking at just some of these was a sobering exercise. Not in any order of importance, here are some worthy of your attention. If a thief steals your money, the Supreme Court of Appeal says he can be taxed on it. If the police recover your stolen money what you get back is the net amount less whatever the fisc has removed. Hey? See "When Bumble gets it right," on page 6.

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From My Window - April 2010 From My Window April 2010

Some things creep up on you unnoticed. It nearly happened to me with this issue – until my attention was drawn to the unusual number of stories dealing with outrageous incompetence or just plain judicial foolishness. Looking at just some of these was a sobering exercise. Not in any order of importance, here are some worthy of your attention. If a thief steals your money, the Supreme Court of Appeal says he can be taxed on it. If the police recover your stolen money what you get back is the net amount less whatever the fisc has removed. Hey?

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Obscene Tax April 2010

The first draft of the Tax Administration Bill (the TAB), together with an explanatory memorandum, was released for public comment in October last year,. One of the stated objectives of the TAB is to integrate all the administrative provisions, which are currently contained in a number of tax Acts, into a single piece of legislation. It is also seen as being an initial step to the eventual redraft of the Income Tax Act.

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When Bumble gets it right Tax April 2010

When a thief steals money, he can be taxed on it. So says the Supreme Court of Appeal. Yet when the thief goes bankrupt, the stolen money is not part of his estate. So also says the Supreme Court of Appeal.

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Clearly wrong Tax April 2010

For many years there has been a debate as to whether a company can incur a cost in relation to the acquisition of an asset or by incurring operating expenditure, where it pays the supplier by issuing its own shares. The SA Revenue Service (SARS) had strenuously taken the view that this was not possible because the company parted with nothing when it issued its shares. The burden fell on the remaining shareholders, whose interest in the company was diluted, but not on the company itself.

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Oh, no you can’t Tax April 2010

The Kwazulu-Natal High Court recently had to consider the lawfulness of an agreement concluded by parties in light of s104 of the Income Tax Act (58 of 1962, as amended). The case in question is that of M Accolla v PK Pillay T/a Newlands Sports Bar Liquor Store (unreported Case No. 1757/2009 and 801/2009).

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Will scrapping VAT on books improve SA’s appalling illiteracy? Tax April 2010

During 2004 requests were made to former Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel to abolish VAT on books. Recently Dion George, Democratic Alliance shadow Minister of Finance has again raised the issue in a letter to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

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Taking regulation ab absurdum Company Law April 2010

The Companies Act, 2008 (New Act) will come into effect later this year amid a fanfare of misgivings, some justified and some unfounded.

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Are we moving to a two-tier board structure? Company Law April 2010

A'one-fit all' board structure does not exist.1 Two types of board structures are well known, the unitary (one tier) board structure and the two-tier (dual) board structure. In companies with a unitary board structure, all directors (executive and non-executive) form one board. Companies with a two-tier board structure have two separate boards (a management board and a supervisory board) and separate the management and supervision functions accordingly.

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Genetically modified foods – friend or foe? Consumer Law April 2010

The extended process of finalising the Consumer Protection Act (which comes into force in October this year) demonstrates the prickly nature of the debate around genetically modified foods. It took almost four years to finalise that Act and one aspect holding up the process was the heated debate about whether genetically modified food should be labelled and, more particularly, whether consumers should be informed about possible risks of consuming such products.

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When courts can’t see the wood for the trees Competition Law April 2010

In its December 7 2009 decision partially to clarify its order and refuse Woodlands special leave to appeal, the Competition Appeal Court appeared to try its utmost to put an end to the 'veritable forest of interlocutory paper' that had characterised the milk inquiry for several years. The CAC emphasised the need for expedition in competition matters as well as clear and proper framing of relief. This ended Woodland's hopes to seek further judgement on the immediate effects of the Competition Commission's invalidated summons.**

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Private prosecution – like going to a gun fight with a knife Criminal Law April 2010

It is estimated that the South African government spends almost three times more on the criminal system than most other countries1 and yet it is impossible to deny the ever-looming shadow of crime over the country. It is not just violent crime that South Africans have to grapple with but the increasing prevalence of fraud, corruption and other commercial crimes.

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From windmills and railways to the pinnacle of dealmaking Profile April 2010

The selection of an individual DealMaker of the Year is fraught with subjective difficulty. As DealMakers magazine puts it, though the Adjudicating Panel agree that “it is more common to associate an award of this nature with corporate finance bankers, nevertheless the high levels of intuitive and intellectual contributions made by lawyers is deserving of equal acknowledgement."

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Free to go? Since when do court orders matter? Platteland Perspective April 2010

IMAGINE you've been detained and you challenge the validity of the action in court. To your relief, the judge finds your detention unlawful. What now? Surely the court will say you must be freed, and at once? For if the judge made any other order it would effectively mean that he or she would be authorising the continuation of an unlawful act.

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