April 17, 2019

What to do if a loved one dies without leaving a will

If someone dies without leaving a will, it usually causes a great deal of panic among those left behind.   The immediate fear is that SARS is going to come along and take all of the deceased’s assets for the state coffers. Fortunately, this does not happen. But when someone dies without a will, those who […]

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April 3, 2019

6 things to bear in mind when you draw up a will

We tend to not give a thought to making a will unless we are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or have reached an age where our friends are dying off at an alarming rate. But death can come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (to quote the Bible). Every day we read news reports […]

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January 18, 2019

Carnage on the roads

The recent festive season seems to have been a particularly bloody one on our roads.  We don’t have the final statistics yet, but between 1 and 18 December 800 people had died, a 16% increase over the corresponding period in 2017. Of course, the problem is not only over periods such as the festive season […]

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December 7, 2018

Common law and common sense

One of the things that I love about being a lawyer is observing the evolution of law. We have two sources of law: statute law, which consists of laws passed by parliament, and common law. Common law is unwritten law that has developed over the years. It probably started with the Ten Commandments. South African […]

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November 28, 2018

The Rainbow Nation gathers momentum

  Life assurer Momentum took a beating on social media last week because of its refusal to pay the death claim for the policy of Nathan Ganas, who was tragically murdered two years ago during a botched hijacking in the driveway of his home. Momentum repudiated the claim because of a non-disclosure clause in the […]

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November 20, 2018

Claims to transfer immovable property

A claim to transfer immovable property is essentially a claim to deliver goods. Any claim would therefore also prescribe within three years. The Constitutional Court made an interesting judgement on 31 October 2018 in Ethekwini Municipality vs Mounthaven (Pty) Ltd Case CCT05/18 [2018] ZACC 43. Thekwini Municipality sold immovable property to Mounhaven (Pty) Ltd at […]

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November 8, 2018

Nationalism – is the tide turning?

As a rule, I avoid talking about religion and politics. But I must admit, the rising tide of nationalism and polarisation that we have seen spreading across the globe over the past few years has caused me growing concern. Brexit and the election of Donald Trump on the back of fueling racism have been followed […]

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October 10, 2018

Are dog owners liable for attacks?

This situation is becoming more common: One moment you are walking or running down the road, minding your own business, and the next, a dog comes running to you and bites you, another person or your own pet. It seems many dog owners do not see the danger that their dog(s) could pose to others […]

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October 8, 2018

Abuse of women and children

Two of the most horrific cases of sexual violence against children have featured in the news over the past week. One case started when the news broke over last weekend of the horrific rape of a 7 year old girl in the toilet of the Dros restaurant in Silverton. The 20 year old miscreant appeared […]

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October 3, 2018

Stern warning to corporate bullies and a relief for those indebted to them

On 26 September 2018, a full bench of three judges in the North Gauteng High Court ruled that as from February 2019, all civil actions in which the monetary value claimed falls within the jurisdiction of the magistrate’s and regional courts, must be instituted in those lower courts, unless the high court has granted leave […]

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September 21, 2018

National Wills Week

Your last will is one of the most important tools in estate planning. Every person should have a last will and testament, reviewed and updated on a regular basis. A carefully structured and written last will and testament can meet many goals, including reducing estate duty liability, providing for dependents, and achieving the efficient administration […]

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September 19, 2018

The first step in the legalisation of marijuana

One thing I love about South Africans is our ability to find humour in anything. Last night Pierre de Vos tweeted a Facebook post that he had seen: the names of the days of the week in Afrikaans have been changed – Monday becomes Maandagga, Tuesday becomes Dinsdagga, Wednesday becomes Woensdagga, and so on. The […]

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September 11, 2018

Trusts and estate planning

The legal structure of a trust is an agreement between a donor (or a founder) and trustees, in terms of which the donor donates property to the trustees to be administered for the benefit of beneficiaries. The donor may be a trustee; the donor and one or more of the trustees may be beneficiaries. But […]

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August 14, 2018

Class action suit against Steinhoff

  On behalf of all investors in Steinhoff, the recently fallen retail holdings company, a strategic collective of law firms has applied for a class-action lawsuit against more than 30 of the current and former directors of Steinhoff. The lawsuit will claim for damages suffered by investors and could potentially run for as much as […]

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August 10, 2018

Women’s Day

  South African women have very little to celebrate this Women’s Month. Just this week, a young woman, Khensani Maseko, just 23 years of age and a student at Rhodes University, committed suicide after allegedly being raped by her boyfriend. Lately, there have been many reports of violence against woman and many high profile South […]

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