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 THE SACR
SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS
Shoplifting accusation and defamation
A customer falsely accused of shoplifting would establish the fault element of an injuria or defamation claim if able to show negligence on the part of the shop owner. The shop owner would escape liability if able to show that there were reasonable grounds for suspecting the customer. Pieterse v Clicks Group Ltd and Another 2015 (5) SA 317 (GJ)
E-cigarettes and the rule of law
The Medicines Control Council seized a consignment of imported electronic cigarettes, on the ground that they contained nicotine, a scheduled medicine. Quick Drink complained that the seizure was unlawful because it amounted to selective and unconstitutional enforcement of the relevant legislation. Quick Drink Co (Pty) Ltd and Another v Medicines Control Council and Others 2015 (5) SA 358 (GP)
Duty of disclosure to insurance company
The court a quo rejected Mr Jerrier’s insurance claim for damage to his motor vehicle on the basis that his failure to inform the insurer of two previous accidents, for which he never claimed, amounted to a material non-disclosure. He had decided not to claim for these accidents because he believed that the cost of the repairs would be less than his excess payment, and because he did not want to lose his no-claim bonus. Read the appeal here. Jerrier v Outsurance Insurance Co Ltd 2015 (5) SA 433 (KZP)
SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL LAW REPORTS
Hearsay evidence against accused by co-accused
The differentiation between accused implicated by confessions and those implicated by admissions could not be lawfully sustained. The common-law position that extra-curial confessions and admissions by accused were inadmissible against co-accused was to be restored. S v Mhlongo; S v Nkosi 2015 (2) SACR 323 (CC)
Young offenders and drug abuse
The 17-year-old perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol and crack cocaine when he brutally murdered his adoptive parents. The cruel and savage way in which the appellant had killed two people who were kind to him, who sustained him from birth, who had tried to deal with his drug addiction, and who treated him as their own child, filled one with revulsion. Any sentence which failed to recognise the severity of the crimes could lead to society losing its confidence in the criminal justice system. S v SD 2015 (2) SACR 363 (SCA)
Attempted murder during robbery
Whether the accused is guilty of two separate crimes depends on whether the violence committed against the victim exceeded the limits required for robbery, and the accused had the intention to kill, and not merely the intention to incapacitate the victim. S v Mahlamuza and Another 2015 (2) SACR 385 (SCA)
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SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS
TABLE OF CASES
PIETERSE v CLICKS GROUP LTD AND ANOTHER (GJ)
SPILG J and MLONZI AJ
2015 MARCH 25; JUNE 10
Defamation - Liability—Accusation of suspicion of shoplifting—Defence of reasonable suspicion competent—But fault in form of negligence will suffice to attract liability.
Delict - Specific forms—Injuria—Infringement of dignitas—Stopping and searching of customer suspected of shoplifting—Defence of reasonable suspicion competent—But fault in form of negligence will suffice to attract liability.
DOUG PARSONS PROPERTY INVESTMENTS (PTY) LTD v ERASMUS DE KLERK INC (GJ)
MAKGOKA J, TEFFO J and BALOYI J
2014 JULY 23; 2015 MARCH 20
Conveyancer - Rights and duties—Duties—Duty in dealing with value-added tax collected from purchaser—No legal duty on conveyancer to pay it over to South African Revenue Service or to ensure that seller did so.
Conveyancer - Rights and duties—Duties—Duty to exercise reasonable degree of skill and care in transfer of property—Negligent to make payment of value-added tax collected from purchaser to director of seller company without authorising resolution—Semble: Hands-off approach undesirable; attesting to documents as commissioner of oaths in absence of deponent potentially fraudulent and dishonourable.
QUICK DRINK CO (PTY) LTD AND ANOTHER v MEDICINES CONTROL COUNCIL AND OTHERS (GP)
2014 NOVEMBER 11
Constitutional law - Constitution—Foundational values—Rule of law—Law enforcement—Selective enforcement—Equality challenge—Rational connection to legitimate government objective required—Targeted seizure set aside where no rational ground for differential treatment shown.
Medicine - Medicines Control Council—Powers—Seizure of scheduled substance—Applicant’s consignment of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine seized—No others targeted—Amounting to selective enforcement of legislation—No rational connection of legitimate government purpose shown—Unfair—Seizure set aside.
State - Duties—Law enforcement—Selective enforcement due to limited resources—State must show rational basis for selective or targeted enforcement.
CROSS-BORDER ROAD TRANSPORT AGENCY v CENTRAL AFRICAN ROAD SERVICES (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS (CC)
MOGOENG CJ, MOSENEKE DCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAPPIE AJ, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MOLEMELA AJ, NKABINDE J, THERON AJ and TSHIQI AJ
2015 FEBRUARY 17; MAY 12
Constitutional law - Legislation—Validity—Declaration of invalidity—Retrospectivity—Suspension period passing without enactment of remedial legislation—Order silent on retrospectivity—Effect—Default position one of invalidity to date of promulgation unless varied by court—Not necessary to expressly stated, such could be determined on proper construction of order—Constitution, s 172(1)(b)(i).
HYDE CONSTRUCTION CC v DEUCHAR FAMILY TRUST AND ANOTHER (WCC)
TRAVERSO DJP, BOZALEK J and ROGERS J
2014 JULY 30; AUGUST 11
Trust - Trustee—Authority to institute legal proceedings—Lack of authority of trustees—Distinguished from lack of capacity of trust—Ratification.
CENTRAL AUTHORITY v TK (GJ)
2014 DECEMBER 4
Children - Abduction—International abduction—Child’s habitual residence—Determination—Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980, art 3.
NATIONAL HEALTH LABORATORY SERVICE v LLOYD-JANSEN VAN VUUREN (SCA)
MHLANTLA JA, SHONGWE JA, WALLIS JA, DAMBUZA AJA and MAYAT AJA
2015 FEBRUARY 25; MARCH 19
Labour law - Contract of employment—Consecutive contracts—Whether first contract novated by second—First contract stipulating that employee would recompense employer for training either by working for fixed period or reimbursing employer—First contract providing for subsequent employment under second contract—Contracts interrelated—Obligation to recompense surviving conclusion of second contract.
Novation - Proof—Intention to novate not presumed—Court may have regard to conduct of parties, including evidence relating to their intention.
JERRIER v OUTSURANCE INSURANCE CO LTD (KZP)
CHETTY J, VAHED J and POYO-DLWATI J
2015 FEBRUARY 4; JULY 7
Insurance - General legal principles—Duty of disclosure—Non-disclosure—Insurer refusing to pay claim because insured failed to report previous accidents for which he never claimed—Whether non-disclosure amounting to breach of terms of policy or material non-disclosure permitting insurer to avoid liability for subsequent claim.
MBD SECURITISATION (PTY) LTD v BOOI (FB)
DAFFUE J and WILLIAMS AJ
2015 JUNE 1; JULY 2
Magistrates’ court - Civil proceedings—Jurisdiction—Consent—Validity—Even where judgment debtor consents to jurisdiction of court in which not resident or employed, may only do so in respect of institution of proceedings and not issue of emoluments attachment order—Magistrates’ Courts Act 32 of 1944, s 45(1) read with s 65J.
PHEIFFER v VAN WYK AND OTHERS (SCA)
MTHIYANE DP, LEWIS JA, MHLANTLA JA, SALDULKER JA and MATHOPO AJA
2014 MAY 19, 30
Lien - For improvements—Substitution of security for—Court having discretion to order substitution on considerations of justice and equity—Whether substitution of enrichment lien with guarantee furnished by person other than owner of improved property offering adequate security for enrichment claim.
SASOL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES LTD AND ANOTHER v COMPETITION COMMISSION (CAC)
DAVIS JP, MOLEMELA AJA and VICTOR AJA
2014 DECEMBER 11; 2015 JUNE 15
Competition - Promotion of competition—Prohibited practices—Abuse of dominance—Excessive pricing—Test—Economic value—Reasonableness—Company with history of state support using import-parity pricing—Competition Act 89 of 1998, s 8(a).
Competition - Competition Tribunal—Expert evidence—Economic experts to refrain from testifying on legal matters—Figures cited without clear and reasoned justification not constituting expert evidence.
ABSA BANK LTD v JANSEN VAN RENSBURG AND OTHERS (GJ)
2013 SEPTEMBER 18; 2014 APRIL 11
Contract - Consensus—Mistake—Cannot be relied on to escape contract if due to own fault.
Agency and representation - Liability of principal for acts of agent—Principal instructing agent to bid up to R35 000—Agent in panic bidding R125 000 and concluding sale—Whether principal bound.
BUSINESS PARTNERS LTD v WORLD FOCUS 754 CC (KZD)
2015 MAY 21; AUGUST 12
Company - Winding-up—Application—Application an abuse of procedure—Section providing that company may prove its damages, if court allows—Which court may allow—Companies Act 61 of 1973, s 347(1A).
FORTUIN v ROAD ACCIDENT FUND (GP)
2014 SEPTEMBER 18
Delict - Specific forms—Loss of support—Foster child—Whether child may claim for loss of support as result of death of foster parent.
MINISTER OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM v TSUPUTSE AND OTHERS (KZD)
2015 APRIL 23, 28
Court - High Court—Jurisdiction—Matatiele magisterial district—KwaZulu-Natal Division and Local Division have concurrent jurisdiction over.
FAIRHAVEN COUNTRY ESTATE (PTY) LTD v HARRIS AND ANOTHER (WCC)
2015 APRIL 23; JULY 8
Competition - Unlawful competition—Passing-off—Domain names—Whether registrant claiming exclusive use of name linked to intellectual property of another guilty of delict of passing-off.
Intellectual property - Domain names—Exclusive right to use—Infringement—Registrant not enjoying exclusive use merely by virtue of registration—Whether non-registrant enjoying exclusive use of domain name.
SALOOJEE AND ANOTHER v KHAMMISSA AND OTHERS NNO (GJ)
2014 DECEMBER 2, 12
Company - Winding-up—Enquiry into affairs of company—Whether documents, compelled to be produced at enquiry under s 417(3), protected from admission in later criminal proceedings by s 417(2)(c)—Companies Act 61 of 1973, ss 417(2)(c) and 417(3).
INDUSTRIAL HEALTH RESOURCE GROUP AND OTHERS v MINISTER OF LABOUR AND OTHERS (GP)
2015 AUGUST 7
Labour - Occupational injuries—Workplace incident—Report of inquiry into incident—Access—Interested parties entitled to access on request—Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, s 32; Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000, s 46.
COUNCIL FOR MEDICAL SCHEMES AND ANOTHER v BONITAS MEDICAL FUND (GP)
2015 JULY 4
Medicine - Medical aid—Medical aid scheme—Inspection order—Appealability—Not constituting ‘decision’ for purposes of s 49(1) and accordingly not appealable—Medical Schemes Act 131 of 1998, s 44(4)(a) read with s 49(1).
MOGALE CITY v FIDELITY SECURITY SERVICES (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS (SCA)
NAVSA DP, WALLIS JA, SALDULKER JA, MBHA JA and ZONDI JA
2014 NOVEMBER 7, 19
Government procurement - Procurement process—Irregularities—Multiple flaws—Just and equitable remedy—Invalidity suspended pending re-evaluation of bids where municipality would otherwise be deprived of essential service—Court sounding warning to errant officials.
PHEKO AND OTHERS v EKURHULENI CITY (CC)
MOSENEKE DCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, LEEUW AJ, MADLANGA J, NKABINDE J, VAN DER WESTHUIZEN J and ZONDO J.
2014 AUGUST 12; 2015 MAY 7
Attorney - Costs—Costs de bonis propriis—When to be awarded—Failing to notify registrar of change of address—Obliged to do so by Constitutional Court Rules and Uniform Rules of Court—Not doing so grossly negligent—Punitive costs order awarded to mark court’s displeasure—Constitutional Court Rules, rule 1(8); Uniform Rules of Court, rules 4, 4A and 16.
Contempt of court - Disobedience of court order—Attorney failing to communicate court order to client—Whether attorney in contempt—Requisites for contempt restated—Service of order on attorney not established.
Contempt of court - Disobedience of court order—By organ of state—Municipality not complying with court order—Requisites for contempt restated—Service of order on municipality’s attorney not established.
Local authority - Powers and duties—To comply with court orders—Joinder of specific parties ordered—Semble: Executive mayor and municipal manager responsible for implementing court orders by virtue of their leadership roles.
SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL LAW REPORTS
TABLE OF CASES
S v MHLONGO; S v NKOSI (CC)
MOSENEKE DCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAPPIE AJ, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MOLEMELA AJ, NKABINDE J, THERON AJ and TSHIQI AJ
2015 MARCH 10, 25; JUNE 25
Evidence - Admissibility—Hearsay evidence—Admissibility of in terms of s 3 of Law of Evidence Amendment Act 45 of 1988—Admissibility as against accused of extra-curial statement by co-accused—Differentiation between accused implicated by confessions and those implicated by admissions could not be lawfully sustained—Such differentiation not designed to achieve any legitimate purpose and was irrational distinction which violated s 9(1) of Constitution and could not be saved by limitations clause since not reasonable and justifiable in open and democratic society—Common-law position that extra-curial confessions and admissions by accused were inadmissible against co-accused to be restored.
S v MOLAUDZI (CC)
MOGOENG CJ, MOSENEKE DCJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MOLEMELA AJ, NKABINDE J, THERON AJ and TSHIQI AJ
2015 JUNE 25
Appeal - To Constitutional Court—Res judicata—Multiple appeals—Relaxation of doctrine—Second appeal on newly introduced constitutional ground—Court to balance rule of law and legal certainty against necessity to vindicate constitutional rights of unrepresented and vulnerable party—Circumstances have to be wholly exceptional to justify departure from res judicata doctrine—No effective alternative remedy—Second appeal entertained.
S v SD (SCA)
BRAND JA, WILLIS JA and MEYER AJA
2014 NOVEMBER 26, 28
Murder - Sentence—Imposition of—Factors to be taken into account—Young offender convicted on two counts of murder of adoptive parents and theft—Substance dependence problem mitigating factor—Youthfulness and influence of drugs—However, cannot fail to recognise severity of offences—Sentencing judge committed no misdirections—Well-considered balance of all interests involved—Interference on appeal unwarranted.
S v JACOBS (WCC)
BLIGNAULT J and VAN ROOYEN AJ
2014 OCTOBER 10; DECEMBER 10
Sentence - Prescribed sentences—Minimum sentence—Imposition of in terms of Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997—Previous convictions—Falling away of where older than 10 years—Court constrained to give effect to literal interpretation of para 271A(b) of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Attempted rape conviction falls away with such interpretation.
Sentence - Prescribed sentences—Minimum sentence—Imposition of in terms of Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997—Meaning of term ‘first offender’ in s 51(2)(b)—No necessity to change plain, literal wording of term by allowing accused to be considered second offender where first offence common-law offence and second a statutory offence.
S v MAHLAMUZA AND ANOTHER (SCA)
BRAND JA, WILLIS JA and MEYER AJA
2014 NOVEMBER 26; DECEMBER 1
Murder - Attempted murder—Committed in connection with robbery—Whether accused guilty of two separate crimes—Such finding permissible where violence committed against victim exceeded limits required for robbery and accused had intention to kill and not merely intention to incapacitate victim—Where none of injuries sustained were potentially fatal or even severe and separate intention to kill not proven, conviction of attempted murder in addition to conviction of robbery with aggravating circumstances not permissible.
S v PE (GP)
POTTERILL J and MATOJANE J
2015 MARCH 17
Juvenile offenders - Offences by—Absconding from child and youth care centre—Child and youth care centre not ‘correctional centre’ and no statutory offence provided for escaping from such centre—Conviction of contravention of s 117(1)(a) of Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998 for absconding from centre replaced on review with conviction of common-law offence of escaping from custody.
S v UMEH (WCC)
HENNEY J and BAARTMAN J
2015 JUNE 4
Indictment and charge - Duplication of convictions—Appellant convicted on two counts of dealing in drugs—Whether duplication of convictions, where drugs came from same source—Accused arrested in parking lot of mall where found in possession of drugs—Subsequent search of his home revealed more—Although drugs in both cases having same source, activities in first count separate and distinct from those relating to drugs found at his home and were also not single, continuous event that constituted one offence—Evidence on one count not same as on other—No duplication.
DERBY-LEWIS v MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES AND OTHERS (GP)
2015 MAY 25, 29
Prisoner - Parole—Release on—Medical grounds—Recommended by Medical Parole Advisory Board—Minister refusing release—Minister taking into consideration representations from other respondents without disclosing to applicant—Also taking into consideration factor at variance with evidence before him—Decision set aside on review and court ordering release subject to parole board determining conditions.
NEW RELEASES FROM JUTA
Tax Administration 2e
Reform of Customary Marriage, Divorce and Succession in South Africa
Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 & Regulations; Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 & Regulations 3e
Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013
Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 & Regulations (Print) 12e