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LATEST BLOGS

Who Gets the House on Divorce?
Who Gets the House on Divorce?
13 May 2021
Historically 44% of South African marriages have ended in divorce, and there has reportedly been a 20% surge in new divorce applications since lockdown. For those unfortunate couples whose marriages do eventually fall apart, often the most important asset in play from both a financial and an emotional perspective is the family home. So it is crucial for any couple contemplating marriage, or cur...
Landlord Liable for a Tragic “Freak” Flood Drowning
Landlord Liable for a Tragic “Freak” Flood Drowning
13 May 2021
A recent High Court decision of D Black & 3 Others v T G Erasmus, NWD Case no. 718/11 dealing with the tragic drowning of a toddler highlights once again the legal dangers faced by property owners who let out accommodation to the public. This particular case related specifically to a Holiday Let on a guest farm and a natural disaster in the form of a flood, but of course any loss however ca...
Employers: Beware the “Casual Worker” Myth!
Employers: Beware the “Casual Worker” Myth!
13 May 2021
Employees in South Africa enjoy strong protections under a raft of laws such as the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), the Labour Relations Act (LRA) and the Employment Equity Act (EEA). Failure to comply with these Acts, whilst perhaps tempting to many employers struggling financially in these hard times, is not only unfair to employees (many of whom are in equally dire straits), but a...
Are Restraints of Trade Valid in a Time of Covid?
Are Restraints of Trade Valid in a Time of Covid?
13 May 2021
Consider this unhappy (but not unlikely) scenario: For whatever reason, you part ways with your fellow director/shareholder (or perhaps a key employee), who goes off immediately to join (or found) the opposition. Now you have a major problem – he/she was privy to all your trade secrets and confidential information and they are now being used to compete against you. Your business could be crippl...
Extended: The Rights of Grieving Parents to Choose Burial After Pregnancy Loss
Extended: The Rights of Grieving Parents to Choose Burial After Pregnancy Loss
13 May 2021
Expectant parents who lose a pregnancy before 26 weeks (the age set by the Births and Deaths Registration Act (BADRA) in its definition of “still-born”) have until now had no right to bury their foetus, which had to be incinerated as “medical waste”. That has changed with a recent High Court order of Voice of the Unborn Baby NPC and Another v Minister of Home Affairs and Others (16402/17) [2021...
Landlords: Can You Cut Electricity to Collect Arrears or Evict?
Landlords: Can You Cut Electricity to Collect Arrears or Evict?
10 April 2021
Landlords can be sorely tempted to force defaulting tenants to settle their arrears (or to vacate the premises altogether) with a bit of instant “self-help” by cutting electricity or water supplies, or perhaps by changing locks or disabling access codes. From the High Court comes another timely warning that you cannot resort to self-help without risking an immediate and costly “spoliation order...
Can an Employee Who Refuses Vaccination be Fired?
Can an Employee Who Refuses Vaccination be Fired?
10 April 2021
Most of us will celebrate the day we are offered a COVID-19 vaccination, but here in South Africa as overseas it seems inevitable that a significant number of people will refuse to be vaccinated. The reasons given for this stance have been many and varied, some mainstream and reasonable, others less so. Perhaps some of those refusing will reconsider if and when they find they are denied opportu...
When Company Directors and Shareholders Come to Blows
When Company Directors and Shareholders Come to Blows
10 April 2021
In companies both large and small, relationships between shareholders and directors can and do run into difficulty occasionally. When that happens, you have several remedies to choose from in the Companies Act. One of them, “relief from oppressive or prejudicial conduct” is particularly versatile, with courts empowered to order a wide range of remedial action ranging from share transfers to remova...
Can Employees Resign to Dodge Disciplinary Hearings?
Can Employees Resign to Dodge Disciplinary Hearings?
3 March 2021
It’s an age-old workplace dodge – threatened with a disciplinary hearing and fearing a guilty verdict, an employee resigns with immediate effect and walks out the door with a defiant “Well that’s it, you just lost your right to discipline me. See you around, loser”. No longer! Our courts have dealt with this issue often in the past in various guises and with conflicting outcomes. Fortunately, a...
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