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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

POPI progress

At the end of June 2019 the Information Regulator announced that the process of putting the Protection of Personal Information Act into effect is “going very slowly” and that: A CEO started on 1 June 2019; A CFO started on 1 July 2019; Other executives are being appointed; They are now at a point where they are … Continue reading

Rationality of an administrative decision

A government administrator’s decision may be irrational because it does not take into account a vital material fact for making a rational decision in the light of the empowering legislation and its purpose. The relevant question for rationality is whether the means, including the process of making a decision, are linked to the purpose or … Continue reading

Corporate joint venture not a partnership

Section 13(1)(d) of the Prescription Act 1969 delays prescription where there is a debt between partners arising out of the partnership relationship. The legal relationship of partnership arises from a contract between two or more persons who each agree to make a contribution (whether in money, property or service) to a venture to be carried on … Continue reading

Meaning of the word ‘acquire’ and other interpretation issues

A building contractor sought to argue that the word ‘acquire’ in the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act 1998 meant ‘buying or obtaining ownership’. The court held that the primary meaning of ‘acquire’ is ‘come to possess something’. The suggestion that persons who have rented their places of permanent residence have not ‘acquired a home’ as … Continue reading

Powers of CIPC to investigate a Companies Act related complaint

The Supreme Court of Appeal made important findings regarding the powers of the Companies Commission to investigate a complaint. Where the complaint relates to the inaccuracy of the company records as to who was a director, the failure to ensure that the record was maintained accurately constitutes either an ongoing act or omission under section 219(1)(a) … Continue reading

The trustees’ authority to act on behalf of a trust

A sale agreement had been signed on behalf of a trust, as purchaser, by a single trustee whose conduct was thereafter ratified by the remaining trustees. The court held that the agreement of sale was not valid and enforceable and it could not be ratified after the fact. In terms of section 2(1) of the … Continue reading

The elements of defamation

The Johannesburg High Court discussed the balance between the constitutional right of freedom of expression and the required respect for inherent dignity ‘to all human beings’. The defendant argued the allegedly defamatory statements made about the plaintiff were true and in the public interest. It is for the defendant in a defamation claim to establish … Continue reading
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