May 2008


From My Window - May 2008 From My Window May 2008

I have had cause to be really alarmed in recent weeks. With the world shifting uneasily onto treacherous financial sands, and our sad northern neighbour no nearer the long-expected and much deferred Promised Land, the armed robbery of the Johannesburg High Court on April 13 was the icing on a poisoned cake.

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What the benchmark tells investors Financial Law May 2008

When selecting the appropriate fund, investors often overlook the information contained and insights that can be gleaned from the fund's benchmark. The benchmark is not only a standard by which to evaluate a fund, it also helps in gauging the expected returns of a fund, the composition of those returns and what risks are attached to investing in the fund.

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Sub-Prime simplified – and the missed opportunity Financial Law May 2008

An irreverent look at the global sub-prime crisis from a SA perspective.

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Securitisations Schemes’ exemption notices Financial Law May 2008

This is Part 1 of two-part series. Part 2 will appear in the June issue

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The Private Equity Debate Tax May 2008

The tax treatment of private equity profits has unleashed a debate both here and in the UK and US. It is now often said that private equity has become the sport of the super-rich in London and New York, which has prompted the British and American public to express their outrage at the way private equity profits are taxed in those countries.

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New reportable arrangement rules Tax May 2008

The reportable arrangements legislation contained in s76A of the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962 (the Act) failed to produce the required results in terms of disclosure of “suspicious" transactions.

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Competition Law across Africa Competition Law May 2008

South African businesses no longer simply conduct their business within our borders. With the post-1994 opening up of the South African economy, local enterprises have established themselves in other countries throughout Africa. This is perhaps most dramatically illustrated through figures quoted by CNN Money in September 2007: trade between South Africa and Nigeria increased from US$11m in 1994 to more than $11bn in 2005. And it's not just Nigeria – for instance, South African mining entities have utilised their expertise to develop their presence in countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mali, Tanzania, Namibia and Guinea.

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That fine interpretive line Competition Law May 2008

Towards the end of March 2008, the Competition Tribunal approved the buyout by Vodacom Service Provider (VSP) (a division of Vodacom) of cell phone accessory vendor, Global Telematics South Africa, a company with a Vodacom service provider licence.

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TB or not TB, that is the question Platteland Perspective May 2008

JAKKALS is the reader in the family. With so much time at his disposal he tries to keep me up to date with what's happening in the world outside the platteland. Sometimes he gets his news from people who stop at the side of the N6, more often it's the newspapers tumbling across the veld that give him information.

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Law as if Earth mattered Environmental Law May 2008

The climate change issue has ballooned to such an extent in the public consciousness that it dominates public debates in Europe and is rising on the political agenda in South Africa. However, the battle to conserve the planet in a state suitable for human habitation is being lost. The climatic system is dangerously close to being destabilised to the extent that no human action would be able to prevent runaway global warming. Fish stocks are collapsing, and forests, fresh water and fertile soil are being depleted at terrifying rates.

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Indigenous Knowledge Systems Policy Intellectual Property May 2008

At the ninth session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore at WIPO in Geneva, the Minister for Science and Technology, Mosibudi Mangena, presented a working document on an Indigenous Knowledge Systems Policy for South Africa. This article summarises the major issues presented.

jvanharmelen

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Unimpressed by lack of inventiveness Intellectual Property May 2008

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) recently handed down two successive decisions invalidating patents for lack of inventiveness.

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To trust or not to trust . . . board of trustees’ conundrum Pension Law May 2008

The recurring chestnut of the ability of the board of trustees of a pension fund to effect payment to a trust on behalf of a minor dependant has again come to the fore in the of the recent case of AK Kowa v Corporate Selection Retirement Fund & Liberty Life.

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Four funerals and a wedding Constitutional Law May 2008

Since the beginning of this year, a number of high profile and important defamation decisions have been handed down and most have been decided against the media.

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If the consumer is king, suppliers are royal advisers Consumer Law May 2008

The second draft of the Consumer Protection Bill is set to be tabled before Parliament later this year. The Bill has been described as "a Bill of Rights for Consumers" (Jonathan Maphosa in BusinessBrief December/January 2008). Its aim, among other objectives, is to "promote and protect the economic interests of consumers" and to "improve access to, and the quality of, information that is necessary so that consumers are able to make informed choices according to their individual wishes and needs."

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