Category Archives: Litigation

Credit Law: Collecting prescribed debts to which the National Credit Act applies

Under the post-1994, democratic dispensation, courts have shown an increased tendency to interpret legislation from a pro-consumer stance. This has produced favourable results in that there has been a decrease in the number of one sided transactions being concluded between large corporations and unwitting consumers. However, the corollary of this is thousands of invalidated contracts and millions of Rands in written-off debts in circumstances where credit providers and companies that concluded agreements in good faith. This harsh commercial climate has placed a demand on attorneys that represent the corporates in question to be incredibly knowledgeable and highly skilled in drafting agreements and collecting debts that stem from the same... Read More

Contract Law: Crookes Brothers Ltd v Regional Land Claims Commission for the Province of Mpumalanga : The importance of interest clauses

Interest is a vital consideration when contemplating the provisions of a contract. This was made clear in the judgment of Crookes Brothers Ltd v Regional Land Claims Commission for the Province of Mpumalanga and Others. In this case, the parties had entered into an agreement of sale which included a clause providing that interest was to be levied against the Purchaser in the event that it did not make timeous payment. However, the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (“SCA”) interpretation and application of the clause reached farther than a plain reading of the provision... Read More

Contract Law: Suspensive conditions and the Kovacs-case

The case of Kovacs Investments 724 (Pty) Ltd v Marais (323/2008) [2009] ZASCA 84 is critically analyzed with a deeper view of suspensive conditions in an agreement of sale.

In dispute was, inter alia, whether an agreement of sale in respect of immovable property had lapsed due to non-fulfilment of suspensive conditions contained in the deed of sale.

A written agreement of sale was concluded on 29 July 2005 in terms of which the respondent sold a commercial section of a building in Bellville, Cape Town for the purchase price of R18 454 041 to the appellant... Read More

Estate Agents: No Fidelity Fund Certificate, No Commission?

Section 34A of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 requires that an estate agent must have been issued with a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate before he or she will be entitled to remuneration or other payment arising from the performance of any duties of an estate agent.

In the recent High Court judgment of Crous International (Pty) Ltd v Printing Industries Federation of South Africa an estate agent claimed commission from his principal following the successful sale of its immovable property... Read More

Property Law: Property owners’ liability for historical municipal debts

Section 118 of The Local Government Municipal Structures Act protects the rights of the Municipality in respect of Municipal debts owed by property owners. This section created much uncertainty in matters where the municipal attempted to enforce its rights against property owners. Since 2012, the Supreme court of Appeal dealt with this issue in two separate cases in an effort to provide the correct interpretation of the Act.

Liability of Municipal Debt in terms of the Municipal Systems Act

Section 118 of the Municipal Systems Act (herein after referred to as “the Act”) states in subsection:

(1)  “A registrar of deeds may not register the transfer of property except on production to that registrar of deeds of a prescribed certificate –

(a) issued by the municipality or municipalities in which that property is situated;  and

(b) which certifies that all amounts that became due in connection with that property for municipal service fees, surcharges on fees, property rates and other municipal taxes, levies and duties during the two years preceding the date of application for the certificate have been fully paid... Read More

Authentication of documents for use inside and outside of South Africa

Ever had to sign or legalise documents within South Africa for use abroad or vice versa? If you have, then you have probably experienced the frustration of being told that the documents have been validly  executed, but not properly authenticated and therefore not suitable for use in a deeds office or other formal purpose. Ms. Allison Schoeman (Strauss Daly Umhlanga branch) compiled this practical guide to ensure that your documents are in order, which can be downloaded here... Read More

Fraud, Corruption, Theft And Suspicious Transactions – Your Obligation To Report

It is likely at one stage in the running and management of a business, it will experience and/or be affected by the above commercial crimes. Our law does provide businesses and private individuals with various civil and criminal remedies. However it also, in certain instances, places a legal duty to report certain crimes as is more fully referred to below.

In South African law fraud is commonly defined as the unlawful and intentional making of a misrepresentation which causes actual prejudice or which is potentially prejudicial to another... Read More

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