Economic review


Now you see it now you don’t: an interesting snippet is that as much as foreign investors are  divesting themselves of our stocks (R35bn this year alone) others are re-investing at about the same rate in our government bonds. The reason appears to be that, despite the risk, our yields are the highest after Russia and Brazil out of developing nations.


A recent book by Scheve & Stasavage (Princeton) deals with the arguments employed to “soak the rich” tax wise: wars created the opportunity for new and compelling compensatory arguments such as-

  • the conscription of income;
  • the conscription of wealth.

In war, all are equal, all sources are employed in the resistance of the aggressor. After a war it is difficult to return to inequality.


Business review


Corporate South Africa has been granted a grace period of 6 months before compliance on employment equity will be enforced. A penalty of 2% of annual turnover for non-compliance may be imposed.


Numsa has indicated that it will enter this year’s wage negotiations with a 20% wage increase demand on the back of single-year agreements.


Facebook has posted its fastest revenue growth rate since 2014, in the 1st quarter of this year at well-nigh 52%. Its business model is simple: it sold a cool digital hangout. Then business was invited. Once the latter was successful, it dialled in advertising.


Moneyweb reported that, whilst improved planning and maintenance had assisted, the primary reason for Eskom having been able to keep the lights on, has been owing to falling demand. In fact, it is reported that our energy consumption has fallen below levels last seen in 2008.


Property review


You might recall that it was recently stated that South Africa has made progress in eliminating shack-housing for the poor. The latest report by Stats SA, holds that an average of 18% of house-holds in metros are informal dwellings. There are local authorities who have made no progress in this department, such as the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, which has not handed over any RDP houses in two years.


Practice review


Price-fixing, cartel forming, tender collusion and such practices will be criminalised from Monday. Criticism against this approach comes from a local firm and holds that such criminalisation would have a significant negative effect on the Competition Commission’s corporate leniency program. Henceforth an application for corporate leniency is will no longer be just a business decision; it is a decision which may have serious personal consequences.


On a lighter note, fake lawyers seldom come in delightful guises: a local lass, giving herself out as an attorney cum model posted pictures of herself in a racy poses. Apparently her general demeanour gave her away to the local Registrar. This not say much about the demeanour of rest of us, does it?


This Satan made me do it: a recent would-be-argument, to be fielded by a fellow who had murdered a 15-year-old, in mitigation of sentence, was that he had been possessed by demons. To the court’s credit it would not countenance the argument.




Liquidators to sign a deed of sale


Liquidators of a close corporation sold the immovable property of the entity in liquidation. One of the liquidators did not sign the deed of sale. The deed was found to be invalid, owing to this failure. An alternative option would have been to have the liquidators provide one of their number with the necessary authority to sign.

Shanmugam [2016] ZAKZDHC 16


Fraud and debit order


An employee had fraudulently and obviously inserted his employer’s bank details on a stop order for the purchase of the vehicle. It took the company a few months to pick up the un-allocated deduction and some years to extract information from Wesbank. Arguments raised by the bank was that the claim had prescribed and that the client, whose account was debited, should have checked its accounts. These arguments were not upheld. The court found that the bank knew that the details provided was that of another, it having irregularly provided finance to that client. It had made no attempt to check the veracity of the deduction and consequently was ordered to pay back the money.

Scenematic, SCA case number 2083/14


Undated notes serving as will: interpretation


The deceased had committed suicide, leaving two handwritten notes. These were accepted as wills but the difficulty lay in that both notes were not dated. Generally, where two such documents survive and does not revoke each other, they must be read together and reconciled. If inconsistent, the earlier testamentary disposition will be deemed to have been revoked by the later one. If two wills are executed on the same day and cannot be read together, they will both be invalid if it cannot be established which one of the two wills was executed last.

Mitchell v Wren SCA case 153/2015


Sole mandates granted to estate agents


I do not propose discussing the case in hand. One must just be a way that, as is amply illustrated in this case, one cannot, whilst a sole mandate is active, cell a property except sue the agency holding the sale mandate, on pain of a damages claim.

Lushaka [2016] ZAGPJHC 45


The parol evidence rule


In the case below, our High Court reaffirmed the current take on the admission of extrinsic evidence to bolster a written contract (and, at 113, provides a concise summary of our current approach to interpretation of contracts). It says that the parol evidence rule is not a single rule but comprises two independent rules i.e.:

  • the integration rule (discussed in the reference above); and
  • a set of rules which determines to what extent extrinsic evidence may be adduced to explain the meaning of words contained in a written contract, termed the interpretation rule.

Padayachee [2016] ZAGPJHC 7




Have you ever met anyone who has grown rich just by saving? Probably not. But you may well have met someone who has grown rich looking after other people’s savings. The Economist




The enemy within: A report written by Bershidsky, holds that the reasons why persons in a society join radical groups such as Isis, reside in cultural differences rather than economic inequality – as would be suggested by Pikkety. One should not consider the Gini coefficient, but the ethnically-driven coefficient, which is harder to measure.


It must be clear that Western-style democracy simply does not work in all circumstances. Two of the evergreen problems is the domination of minorities by an overwhelming majority and a society which, rationally, is so diverse that a model based on the premise of rationality simply does not function. Ensconced parties (be they made up of technocrats or liberators) become a government which is so secure in power that abuses such as corruption and the like becomes likely. Fioramonti (a director of GovInn) states that South Africans are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with voting, leading to a plummeting of voter turnout. Representative democracy should, according to him, be replaced by participative governance, especially at local level. There are existing examples such as, for instance India, in which citizen-controlled villages and towns is set to become the norm.


Lighten up


A couple was having dinner at a fancy restaurant. As the food was served, the husband said, "the food looks delicious, let's eat."

Wife : Honey... you say prayer before eating at home

Husband : That’s at home sweetheart ... here the chef knows how to cook. (I am sure that this man men will be taught to pray anon)


Why did the chicken cross the road?

  • Jan F.E. Celliers: 'Dis die hoender, dis die pad, dis al.'  
  • Nataniel: 'Ek was vreeslik op my nerves vir sy part tot hy anderkant

gekom het. Ek dink dit was stunning!'  


 Die reeksmoordenaar en sy slagoffer loop deur 'n donker bos. 'Ek's bang!'

sé die slagoffer. Die reeksmoordenaar sé: 'Jy dink jy's bang, ek moet nog

alleen terugloop!?'   


  "Always be prepared: for women

"While out walking along the edge of a lagoon just outside of Gagudju Lodge in Kakadu National Park with my soon to be ex-husband discussing property settlement and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 16 foot crocodile which suddenly emerged from the murky water and began charging us with its large jaws wide open.

She must have been protecting her nest because she was extremely aggressive.

If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire .25 caliber pistol with me, I would not be here today! Just one shot to my estranged husband's knee cap was all it took. The croc got him easily and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.  

It's one of the best pistols in my collection! Plus the amount I saved in lawyer’s fees was really incredible."