June 2008


A compelling story Platteland Perspective June 2008

THIS case promised to be worth travelling 300 km to attend, despite the frosty Free State morning. Here was the Supreme Court of Appeal faced with serious criticism of its own sentencing habits in relation to rape. How would it react – with blushes or bluster?

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Namibian shipwreck – stand by for arguments about who gets the loot Maritime Law June 2008

The discovery of an ancient shipwreck in the waters off the coast of Namibia reads like the adventures of Dirk Pitt, the central character in the Clive Cussler adventure novels: bronze cannons, gold coins, copper ingots and elephant tusks are among the exotic items to be found amid the myriad of treasure on board the wreck which is believed to date to the early 1500's and to be of either Spanish or Portuguese origin.

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Goodbye orange-peel? Advertising June 2008

“Ever wanted to say goodbye to cellulite?" Of course. The average South African woman over 21 would agree, eager for anything to rid her of her orange-peel thighs. And, of course, a television commercial claiming that, 'Now you can! With new Nivea Good-bye Cellulite, a gel with L-carnitine, your skin's own fat burner', would send thousands of women rushing out to their nearest Nivea stockist.

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Internet Advertising – bringing the sheriff to town Advertising June 2008

The recently released annual report of the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK raises the issue of increased complaints around internet advertising. It states that, “Internet advertising is now the second most complained about medium according to the ASA and CAP's Annual Report for 2007. The most common reasons for complaint about internet content were pricing, availability and charges. Seventy two percent of the 2980 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority were about the content of websites and as such fell outside the ASA's remit."

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You can never be too rich or too thin Not The Law Reports June 2008

STATE V WATER OF LIFE (PTY) LTD Foss-Harbottle J: Many matters of great social importance have come before this court and it was only a matter of time before weight-loss joined the ranks. The accused is charged with contravening the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972. It is alleged that the accused, who sells bottled natural water, has contravened s2 of the Act by selling a foodstuff which is contaminated. The accused sells a product known as the 'Water of Politics' that allegedly contains a contaminant that causes diarrhoea in the drinker.

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Material breaches and the root of a contract Contract Law June 2008

The phrase "breach going to the root of a contract" is of great importance. It is very common to find a clause in a contract which states that a party to a contract shall not be entitled to cancel the contract as a consequence of a breach by the other party, unless the breach is a material breach which goes to the root of the contract.

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Trusts and BEEs – a burning conundrum BEE Law June 2008

BEE Codes of Good Practice are at odds with preferred trust vehicles. It is an anomaly that requires an urgent solution since BEE has dominated merger and acquisition transactions in South Africa over the past decade and is likely to continue doing so.

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Holding your breath may be unwise Company Law June 2008

Confusion is gripping South Africa's business sector in the wake of The Corporate Laws Amendment Act of 24 of 2006, which came into effect on December 14 2007.

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Who needs ICASA after this? Communications Law June 2008

The long awaited proposed guidelines for submarine cable landing rights have been published by the Minister of Communications. Unsurprisingly, the proposed guidelines are not without controversy.

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No hiding place here Consumer Law June 2008

s169(1) of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 enjoins a court in any proceedings not to give judgement in circumstances where a consumer (the debtor) alleges that the cost of credit claimed by, or made to, the credit provider exceeds the sanctioned limit, and requests that the credit provider be called as a witness to prove the amount of debt claimed to be owing.

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Depriving the wolves of their dinner Consumer Law June 2008

The National Credit Act 34 of 2005, which for better or worse, has a distinct Canadian flavour, applies to mortgage bonds.1

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The curious complexities in notifying defaulting debtors Consumer Law June 2008

Before a credit provider (the creditor) commences legal proceedings against a consumer (the debtor) to “enforce" a credit agreement in terms of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005, it must “draw the default to the notice of" that debtor in writing, with a view to arranging a resolution of the matter or develop and agree a plan for the payment of the arrears.1

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Networking – give more, seek less Management June 2008

We ran a networking event recently in a regional centre far from the capital city…we thought lawyers would be pleased to have an opportunity to meet friends and contacts and not have to travel into London to do so. Four lawyers showed up, not so much networking, more like a blind date without the romantic subtext.

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What you need to know about the Co-operative Banks Act Banking Law June 2008

According to a survey carried out by FinScope Africa in 2006, 49% of the adult population of South Africa does not have access to banking services, and it is anticipated that the 'gap' between the 'banked' and the 'un-banked' will widen further as a consequence of the implementation of Basel II (effective January 1 2008)..

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Thwarted by security considerations Litigation June 2008

An award for security for costs is one aimed at balancing the possible prejudice a litigant may suffer when action is instituted against it by a plaintiff company that may be unable to pay costs awarded against it. s13 of the Companies Act, 61 of 1973 makes provision for an award for security for costs as follows:

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