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What is ‘reasonably practicable’ for preferred language education?

The South African Constitutional Court was called on to examine the 2016 Language Policy of Stellenbosch University which effectively gives preference to English in the circumstances specified in the Policy to advance the university’s goals of equal access, multi-lingualism and integration. The policy maintains and preserves Afrikaans but this is now subject to demand and … Continue reading

You don’t have to own property to sell it

The South African Supreme Court of Appeal has again reminded us that it is not a requirement for a valid contract of sale that the seller must be the owner of the thing sold. Although the parties to a contract of sale usually contemplate the transfer of ownership, this is not an essential feature of … Continue reading

Constitutional values of ubuntu and fairness are not the basis for the courts’ interference with contractual relationships

It has long been held that although values such as good faith, reasonableness and fairness are fundamental to our law of contract, they do not constitute independent rules that courts can employ to intervene in contractual relationships (South African Forestry Co Ltd v York Timbers Ltd). The fact that a term of a contract is … Continue reading

South Africa 2019 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement

The 2019 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) was recently delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and recognises that South Africa’s economic growth has been slowing alongside productivity and competitiveness. South Africa’s debt-to-GDP ratio is among the highest of its peer countries, with only Argentina, Croatia, Ukraine and Zambia worse off. It is projected that the … Continue reading

Mediation in the High Court

Successful mediation of any dispute is largely dependent on the skills and expertise of the mediator and the willingness and good faith of the parties to the mediation to engage in that process. So it is to be welcomed that the proposed new High Court Rule 41A doesn’t make mediation compulsory but is rather intended … Continue reading

Vicarious liability for creating a risk

The Supreme Court of Appeal has again extended the scope of vicarious liability. A security company was found liable for a murder committed by their site supervisor in an attempt to rob the deceased who was the financial manager at the premises which the security company were required to guard. The court held that placing … Continue reading

Information Regulator: CR17 campaign leaks

Privacy and data protection concerns have been triggered by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s reliance on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s private emails and bank statements of various entities used by his CR17 presidential campaign team. These records were used by Mkhwebane to support her report, which found that Ramaphosa had misled Parliament by failing to declare the … Continue reading

Electronic signatures confirmed in UK

Everyone involved in agreements governed by English law will be pleased to hear that the UK Law Commission has confirmed that an electronic signature can be used to execute an English law document (including a deed) if: the person signing the document intends to authenticate the document; and any formalities relating to the execution of … Continue reading

Expert evidence

Parties to any dispute who rely exclusively on opinions of experts without establishing the factual basis for those opinions do so at their peril. The opinion of an expert must be based on facts that are established by the evidence. The court then assesses the opinions of experts on the basis of ‘whether and to … Continue reading

Contracting with a trust

Where an agreement was purportedly entered into with a trust where one of two required trustees did not sign and in fact refused to do so, the agreement was void and there was no basis for an action compelling the sale to the trustee who did sign to buy the property. A signatory who warrants … Continue reading

Presenting your evidence in the small claims court

The small claims court resolves matters speedily, inexpensively and informally. Whether you are the claimant (plaintiff) or the party opposing the claim (the defendant), you must conduct your own case in court without legal representation. Here are some tips on dealing with your small claims court case. Proceedings are inquisitorial so the commissioner plays an … Continue reading

Personalised medicine and medical malpractice

Personalised medicine involves the consideration of health risk factors and genetic information to determine individual risk profiles. This customisation of healthcare uses medical decisions, practices, treatments, and products that are tailor-made to an individual’s requirements, and is based on hereditary profile. This could result in quicker diagnosis and a more targeted form of treatment for … Continue reading
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