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October 2017

Dear South African Law Reports and Criminal Law Reports subscriber

Herewith the cases in the October law reports.

•    Click on the case name to download the original judgment.

JUDGMENTS OF INTEREST IN THE OCTOBER EDITIONS OF THE SALR AND SACR REPORTS

 

SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS

The duty of a court when unlawful occupiers consenting to their eviction

Unlawful occupiers of a block of flats mandated four among them to appear in proceedings for their eviction. These four consented, purportedly on the others’ behalf, to the occupiers’ eviction, and an order to such effect was granted. The occupiers sought to rescind that order in the High Court, which was refused. On appeal, the Constitutional Court stressed the obligation of a court to proactively determine whether an eviction was just and equitable. They carried this obligation even where occupiers consented to their eviction. The CC rescinded the eviction order given the real risk of homelessness. Occupiers, Berea v De Wet NO and Another 2017 (5) SA 346 (CC)

The repentance principle

A party who decides to abide by a repudiated agreement was entitled to change that decision and cancel where the defaulting party persists with its refusal or failure to perform. For it to do so, it was sufficient that the aggrieved party reasonably perceived that the defaulting party would not remedy its breach despite having been given the opportunity to do so; no further act of repudiation was required. Primat Construction CC v Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality 2017 (5) SA 420 (SCA)

The right of the media to broadcast court proceedings

The trial of the accused—charged with murdering three of his family members with an axe—attracted huge media interest. A major publisher brought an urgent application for permission to record and broadcast the proceedings. The court granted the application, on the basis of the media’s right to freedom of expression, but also on the principle of open justice, which demanded that court proceedings had to, where possible, be accessible to any member of the public who wished to be accurately informed of such proceedings. Van Breda v Media 24 Ltd and Others 2017 (5) SA 533 (SCA)

 

SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL LAW REPORTS

The right to anonymity of child witnesses when reaching majority

Eighteen years after the applicant was abducted as a baby girl, criminal proceedings were brought against the suspected kidnapper. In the midst of intense media interest, the applicant sought a declaration to the effect that the right to anonymity afforded her as a child witness in terms of s 154(3) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 extended into her majority. The court disagreed and refused the declaration, holding that the section protected the child and only the child. Centre for Child Law and Others v Media 24 Ltd and Others 2017 (2) SACR 416 (GP)

Life sentence for rape involving ‘grievous bodily harm’—whether intent to be shown

In terms of part 1(c) of sch 2, read with s 51(1), of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997, rape involving the infliction of ‘grievous bodily harm’ called for a minimum sentence of life imprisonment. The SCA, reversing the decision of the High Court a quo, confirmed that these provisions did not require the state to show that the accused had intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Director of Public Prosecutions, Gauteng Division, Pretoria v Moabi 2017 (2) SACR 384 (SCA)

An appropriate sentence for offences related to child pornography

The accused was found guilty of numerous counts relating to child pornography, sexual assault and using children for child pornography. In considering sentence, the court felt that a custodial sentence was called for, given the seriousness of the offence. The court sentenced the accused to 10 years’ imprisonment of which two were suspended. S v AR 2017 (2) SACR 402 (WCC)

 


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 SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS
 TABLE OF CASES
 
  • Baron and Others v Claytile (Pty) Ltd and Another 2017 (5) SA 329 (CC)
  • Occupiers, Berea v De Wet NO and Another 2017 (5) SA 346 (CC)
  • Swart v Starbuck and Others 2017 (5) SA 370 (CC)
  • Ntlemeza v Helen Suzman Foundation and Another 2017 (5) SA 402 (SCA)
  • Primat Construction CC v Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality 2017 (5) SA 420 (SCA)
  • Balkan Energy Ltd and Another v Government of Ghana 2017 (5) SA 428 (GJ)
  • Venter Joubert Inc and Another v Du Plooy 2017 (5) SA 439 (NCK)
  • Mfengwana v Road Accident Fund 2017 (5) SA 445 (ECG)
  • Mokone v Tassos Properties CC and Another 2017 (5) SA 456 (CC)
  • Lawyers for Human Rights v Minister of Home Affairs and Others 2017 (5) SA 480 (CC)
  • Brayton Carlswald (Pty) Ltd and Another v Brews 2017 (5) SA 498 (SCA)
  • Moraitis Investments (Pty) Ltd and Others v Montic Dairy (Pty) Ltd and Others 2017 (5) SA 508 (SCA)
  • MAN Financial Services SA (Pty) Ltd v Phaphoakane Transport and Another 2017 (5) SA 526 (GJ)
  • Van Breda v Media 24 Ltd and Others 2017 (5) SA 533 (SCA)
  • De Sousa and Another v Technology Corporate Management (Pty) Ltd and Others 2017 (5) SA 577 (GJ)
 
 FLYNOTES
 

BARON AND OTHERS v CLAYTILE (PTY) LTD AND ANOTHER (CC)

NKABINDE ADCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MHLANTLA J, MOJAPELO AJ, PRETORIUS AJ and ZONDO J
2017 JULY 13
[2017] ZACC 24

Land - Land reform—Statutory protection of tenure—Protected occupation of land—Duty of state to provide lawfully evicted occupiers with suitable alternative accommodation—Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997, s 10; Constitution, s 25.

OCCUPIERS, BEREA v DE WET NO AND ANOTHER (CC)

MOGOENG CJ, NKABINDE ADCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MHLANTLA J, MOJAPELO AJ, PRETORIUS AJ and ZONDO J
2017 JUNE 8
[2017] ZACC 18

Land - Unlawful occupation—Eviction—Statutory eviction—Joinder of local authority—Required when risk that eviction may lead to homelessness—Requirement remaining where such risk present but unlawful occupier consenting to eviction order—Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998, s 4(7).

Land - Unlawful occupation—Eviction—Statutory eviction—Consent to eviction—Validity—Invalid if unlawful occupier not informed of statutory and constitutional rights waived by consenting to eviction—Minimum rights unlawful occupier must be informed of—Constitution, s 26(3); Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998, ss 4(6) and 4(7).

Land - Unlawful occupation—Eviction—Statutory eviction—Role of court—Duty to be proactive—Where unlawful occupier consenting to eviction—Court not absolved from duty under PIE to proactively determine whether eviction would be just and equitable in relevant circumstances—Consent one of relevant circumstances to consider—Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998, ss 4(6) and 4(7).

Land - Unlawful occupation—Eviction—Statutory eviction—Meaning of ‘valid defence’ in Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998, s 4(8)—When unjust or inequitable to evict, unlawful occupiers having valid defence.

SWART v STARBUCK AND OTHERS (CC)

MOGOENG CJ, NKABINDE ADCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MHLANTLA J, MOJAPELO AJ, PRETORIUS AJ and ZONDO J
2017 JUNE 29
[2017] ZACC 23

Insolvency - Trustee—Realisation of assets—Sale of property on authorisation of master—Sale in anticipation of formal appointment as trustee—Sale subsequently authorised by master—Sale valid until authorisation set aside—Insolvency Act 24 of 1936, s 80bis.

NTLEMEZA v HELEN SUZMAN FOUNDATION AND ANOTHER (SCA)

NAVSA JA, PONNAN JA, MAJIEDT JA, DAMBUZA JA and MATHOPO JA
2017 JUNE 9
[2017] ZASCA 93

Appeal - Execution—Application to execute pending appeal—May precede lodging of appeal—Dismissal of application for leave to appeal not removing jurisdictional underpinning for execution order—Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013, s 18(1).

PRIMAT CONSTRUCTION CC v NELSON MANDELA BAY METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY (SCA)

LEWIS JA, TSHIQI JA, SALDULKER JA, SWAIN JA and MOLEMELA AJA
2017 JUNE 1
[2017] ZASCA 73

Contract - Breach—Repudiation—Repentance principle—No further act of repudiation required—Sufficient if aggrieved party reasonably perceived defaulting party would not, after having been given opportunity to do so, repent of its breach.

BALKAN ENERGY LTD AND ANOTHER v GOVERNMENT OF GHANA (GJ)

KUNY AJ
2017 JUNE 29

Arbitration - Enforcement of foreign arbitration award—Both parties peregrini—Ex parte application for attachment to found jurisdiction granted—Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards Act 40 of 1977, s 2—Application of New York Convention—Restrictions in Protection of Businesses Act 99 of 1978, s 1, not applicable where underlying contract not connected with raw materials.

VENTER JOUBERT INC AND ANOTHER v DU PLOOY (NCK)

LACOCK J, WILLIAMS J and LEVER AJ
2014 DECEMBER 19

Interest - A tempore morae—Mora interest on unliquidated debt—Court’s discretion under s 2A(5) of Prescribed Rate of Interest Act 55 of 1975—Not arising in absence of principal debt.

MFENGWANA v ROAD ACCIDENT FUND (ECG)

PLASKET J
2016 DECEMBER 15

Attorney - Misconduct—Overreaching—Attempt to charge, under contingency fee agreement, 25% of award in motor vehicle accident claim—Such agreements contrary to Contingency Fees Act and invalid—Attorney’s attempt to claim 25% of award constituting overreaching—Copy of judgment to be delivered to Law Society for consideration of measures to combat abuse of contingency fee agreements—Contingency Fees Act 66 of 1997, s 2(2).

MOKONE v TASSOS PROPERTIES CC AND ANOTHER (CC)

NKABINDE ADCJ, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MHLANTLA J, MOJAPELO AJ, PRETORIUS AJ and ZONDO J
2017 JULY 24
[2017] ZACC 25

Lease - Extension—Rule that agreement to extend lease extending only terms incidental to lease—Rule developed so that collateral terms also extended.

Land - Sale—Pre-emption—Formalities—Need not comply with formalities in Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981, s 2(1).

Court - High Court—Powers—Stay—Court has power to stay proceedings before it, pending determination of material issue in other proceedings.

LAWYERS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS v MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND OTHERS (CC)

MOGOENG CJ, NKABINDE ADCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MHLANTLA J, MOJAPELO AJ, PRETORIUS AJ and ZONDO J
2017 JUNE 29
[2017] ZACC 22

Immigration - Illegal foreigner—Detention—Provisions concerning confirmation, duration and extension of detention declared invalid—Constitution, ss 12(1)(b) and 35(2)(d); Immigration Act 13 of 2002, ss 34(1)(b) and 34(1)(d).

BRAYTON CARLSWALD (PTY) LTD AND ANOTHER v BREWS (SCA)

THERON JA, MAJIEDT JA, DAMBUZA JA, MATHOPO JA and COPPIN AJA
2017 MAY 31
[2017] ZASCA 68

Cession - Validity—Third party paying bank amounts owed by judgment debtor—Bank ceding its rights in judgment to third party—Whether cession competent.

MORAITIS INVESTMENTS (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS v MONTIC DAIRY (PTY) LTD (SCA)

LEACH JA, TSHIQI JA, WALLIS JA, SALDULKER JA and FOURIE AJA
2017 MAY 18
[2017] ZASCA 54

Practice - Judgments and orders—Rescission—Consent judgment—Grounds—Lack of authority—Order may be rescinded on basis of lack of authority to conclude settlement agreement made order of court.

Company - Contracts—Freedom of contract—Restrictions—Disposal of whole or greater part of undertaking or assets of company—Directors may not dispose of whole or greater part of undertaking or assets of company without approval by special resolution at general meeting of shareholders—In appropriate circumstances doctrine of unanimous assent may apply—Companies Act 71 of 2008, ss 112 and 115(2)(a).

MAN FINANCIAL SERVICES SA (PTY) LTD v PHAPHOAKANE TRANSPORT AND ANOTHER (GJ)

WEPENER J
2017 FEBRUARY 1

Credit agreement - Consumer credit agreement—Whether agreement subject to NCA—Parties by transactio concluding settlement agreement in full and final settlement of all obligations arising out of prior suretyship agreement—Prior agreement not subject to NCA, as principal debt not arising from agreement falling within scope of NCA—New agreement describing respondent as principal debtor, and no longer as surety—New settlement agreement calling for compliance with NCA, despite original agreement’s falling outside NCA—National Credit Act 34 of 2005, s 4(1).

VAN BREDA v MEDIA 24 LTD AND OTHERS (SCA)

PONNAN JA, LEACH JA, MBHA JA, ZONDI JA and VAN DER MERWE JA
2017 JUNE 21
[2017] ZASCA 97

Constitutional law - Human rights—Right to freedom of expression—Freedom of press and other media—Right of media to broadcast court proceedings—Right to freedom of expression extending to public’s right to receiving information and to open justice—Preventing media from broadcasting proceedings amounting to limitation of both media and public’s right to freedom of expression—Default position being that no objection in principle to broadcasting—Media to request permission to broadcast on case-by-case basis—Court to use constitutionally mandated discretion to protect and regulate its own processes, in deciding such applications—Constitution, ss 16(1) and 173.

Media - Freedom of expression—Limitations—Right of media to broadcast court proceedings—Default position being that no objection in principle to broadcasting—Media to request permission to broadcast on case-by-case basis—Court to use constitutionally mandated discretion to protect and regulate its own processes, in deciding such applications—Court to harmonise competing rights of freedom of expression and open justice principle, on one hand, and right to fair trial, on other—Courts ought not restrict nature and scope of broadcast unless prejudice demonstrable and real risk of it occurring—Mere conjecture or speculation that prejudice might occur not enough—Constitution, s 173.

DE SOUSA AND ANOTHER v TECHNOLOGY CORPORATE MANAGEMENT (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS (GJ)

BORUCHOWITZ J
2017 MARCH 31

Company - Oppressive conduct—What constitutes—‘Unfair prejudice’—Test—Objective—Whether conduct fair or unfair depending on context—Effect of conduct being real issue—Requirement of ‘prejudice’ meant that conduct had to have harmed member in commercial, not merely emotional, sense—Companies Act 61 of 1973, s 252(1) and (3).

Company - Business rescue—Effect on contracts—Suspension of ‘any obligation’ arising from agreements—Effect on cession of future book debts—Companies Act 71 of 2008, ss 134(3), 136(2)(a)(i) and 136(2A)(c).

Constitutional law - Human rights—Right to a fair trial—Whether violated where judicial officer limiting time for cross-examination of witnesses in civil trial—Right to cross-examine witnesses not absolute—May be limited to prevent unnecessary wasting of time and increase in costs—Whether limitation violating fair trial rights dependent on whether litigant suffering any prejudice—Presently, no prejudice suffered as only time allowed for cross-examination limited, not scope.

Costs - Special order—When to be awarded—Minority shareholders bringing action against majority for relief from oppressive conduct—Defendants prolonging trial through unwarranted interlocutory applications, long and irrelevant cross-examination, and groundless objections—Majority withholding dividends to which plaintiffs were entitled, to deprive them of their means to litigate—Majority wrongfully using company funds to pay defendant shareholders’ legal costs—Special costs order on attorney and client scale appropriate.

Evidence - Witnesses—Calling, examination and refutation—Cross-examination—Right to cross-examine witnesses not absolute—May rightfully be limited by judicial officer to prevent unnecessary wasting of time and increase in costs.

 

 SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL LAW REPORTS
 TABLE OF CASES
  
  • S v Ramoba 2017 (2) SACR 353 (SCA)
  • S v Thetha 2017 (2) SACR 363 (ECG)
  • S v Baadjies 2017 (2) SACR 366 (WCC)
  • S v Mali 2017 (2) SACR 378 (ECG)
  • Director of Public Prosecutions, Gauteng Division, Pretoria v Moabi 2017 (2) SACR 384 (SCA)
  • S v AR 2017 (2) SACR 402 (WCC)
  • Centre for Child Law and Others v Media 24 Ltd and Others 2017 (2) SACR 416 (GP)
  • S v Nkabinde and Others 2017 (2) SACR 431 (SCA)
  • S v Ntozini and Another 2017 (2) SACR 448 (ECG)
  • S v Sibeko and Others 2017 (2) SACR 457 (FB)
  • S v Miya and Others 2017 (2) SACR 461 (GJ)
 
 FLYNOTES
 

S v RAMOBA (SCA)

SHONGWE ADP, MBHA JA, VAN DER MERWE JA, MOLEMELA AJA and COPPIN AJA
2017 MAY 2; JUNE 1
[2017] ZASCA 74

Arms and ammunition - Unlawful possession of firearm in contravention of s 3 of Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000—Joint possession—Proof of—Firearm found between front seats of robbers’ getaway vehicle—No indication of who put firearm there—Possession not proven.

Sentence - Imprisonment—Duration of—Lengthy period of imprisonment—Effective term of 52 years’ imprisonment—Sentence possibly surpassing lifespan of accused—Sentence inappropriate and set aside.

S v THETHA (ECG)

BESHE J and ROBERSON J
2017 JUNE 17

Sentence - Addressing court on sentence—Accused not legally represented—Magistrate asking accused whilst still in witness box whether he had anything further to say to court before sentence—Such not amounting to compliance with s 274 of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.

S v BAADJIES (WCC)

GAMBLE J and FORTUIN J
2017 MAY 26; JUNE 9

Evidence - Witnesses—Calling, examination and refutation of—Oath—Admonition to speak truth—Duties of court—No procedural requirement that court first had to enquire of witness whether she understood what oath was—Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, s 164(1).

Sentence - Imposition of—Global sentence imposed in respect of multiple offences—When appropriate—Inappropriate in circumstances where vastly differing sentences required—Such sentence might also present difficulties on appeal.

S v MALI (ECG)

MALUSI J and MOLONY AJ
2017 APRIL 19; MAY 16

Evidence - Witness—Oath—Admonition to speak truth—Irregularity committed where magistrate requiring child to ‘confirm’ that she would tell truth—Could be corrected by requiring child to listen to evidence and confirm it.

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, GAUTENG DIVISION, PRETORIA v MOABI (SCA)

MAYA AP, THERON JA, DAMBUZA JA, MOLEMELA AJA and GORVEN AJA
2017 FEBRUARY 15; JUNE 2
[2017] ZASCA 85

Appeal - Leave to appeal—Application for—By Director of Public Prosecutions on question of law in terms of s 311(1) of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Such appeal one of right and leave to appeal not required.

Rape - Sentence—Life imprisonment—Minimum sentence in terms of s 51 of Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997—Where grievous bodily harm inflicted—Enhanced minimum-sentence provisions not requiring state to show that accused had intention to cause grievous bodily harm.

S v AR (WCC)

LE GRANGE J and WEINKOVE AJ
2017 JUNE 23; JULY 21

Sexual offences - Child pornography—Sentence—Accused guilty of numerous counts relating to child pornography, sexual assault and using children for pornography—Accused 36-year-old engineer who photographed friends’ and neighbours’ children whilst sleeping, after partially undressing them—Seriousness of offence requiring custodial sentence—Sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment of which two were suspended.

CENTRE FOR CHILD LAW AND OTHERS v MEDIA 24 LTD AND OTHERS (GP)

HUGHES J
2017 JULY 11

Evidence - Witnesses—Children—Identification of—Prohibition of identification of child witness—Extending to victim under age of 18 years—Prohibition not extending into child’s majority—Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, s 154(3).

S v NKABINDE AND OTHERS (SCA)

NAVSA JA, THERON JA, MAJIEDT JA, SCHIPPERS AJA and FOURIE AJA
2017 MAY 18; JUNE 1
[2017] ZASCA 75

Appeal - Special entry in terms of s 317(1) of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Requirements of—Application not there for asking—Court to ensure that application bona fide and not frivolous, absurd or abuse of process.

S v NTOZINI AND ANOTHER (ECG)

ROBERSON J and BEARD AJ
2017 MAY 16, 19

Sentence - Imprisonment—Term of—Non-parole period—Order in terms of s 276B of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 to be made only in exceptional circumstances—Court sentencing young first offenders to terms of imprisonment and specifying that they be trained in certain skills for duration of sentence—Such sentence infringing provisions of s 276B(1) and falling foul of separation of powers doctrine.

S v SIBEKO AND OTHERS (FB)

VAN ZYL J and HEFER AJ
2017 JUNE 29

Review - Inherent review powers of High Court—Part-heard trial—Accused’s legal representative not qualified to practise—Fair-trial rights at stake justifying review before conclusion of trial.

S v MIYA AND OTHERS (GJ)

MSIMEKI J
2017 MAY 26; JUNE 7

Bail - Evidence adduced at bail proceedings—Admissibility of at subsequent proceedings—Compliance with provisions of section—Warning by presiding officer that evidence might be used against him at subsequent trial—Warning not given—Use of statement in other proceedings for purposes of cross-examining witness—Protection applicable in other proceedings—Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, s 60(11B)(c).

 

 NEW RELEASES FROM JUTA
 

Pregnancy Law in South Africa
Juta’s Statutes of South Africa 2017/18 (print)
Vulnerable Employees

 

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