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SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS
The right of an occupier in terms of ESTA to make improvements
An occupier as defined in terms of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 made essential improvements to her living quarters. Were they lawful where the owner of the property had withheld their consent? The Constitutional Court held that an occupier had the right in terms of the Act to make improvements required to bring their dwelling up to a standard consonant with human dignity. An owner’s consent was not a prerequisite, but the occupier had to raise the issue of the proposed improvements with the owner. The court in reaching its conclusions confirmed that the applicable constitutional right—an occupier’s right to secure tenure (s 25(6))—imposed positive obligations on private individuals such as the present owner. Daniels v Scribante and Another 2017 (4) SA 341 (CC).
The appointment of a Special Master of Labour Tenants
In the light of serious administrative failures in the processing of applications by labour tenants for awards of land, the Land Claims Courts found it necessary to resort to a novel remedy. It appointed a ‘Special Master of Labour Tenants’ to supervise the processing of labour tenant claims under the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act 3 of 1996. Mwelase and Others v Director-General, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and Others 2017 (4) SA 422 (LCC).
A widow’s claim for loss of support—physical appearance not to be considered
In respect of a widow’s claim for loss of support, a court could not take her physical appearance into account in determining a contingency deduction for the possibility of her remarriage. To do so would violate the constitutional values of equality and dignity. Esterhuizen and Others v Road Accident Fund 2017 (4) SA 461 (GP)
SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL LAW REPORTS
Court impermissibly imputing consent by conduct to child under 12 years in respect of sexual acts
The accused had been convicted of sexual offences against a 10-year-old child. The High Court, in considering sentence, imputed consent by conduct to the complainant, despite the Sexual Offences Act providing that a child under the age of 12 years was unable to consent to sexual acts. In doing so, the High Court had committed an error of law as contemplated in terms of s 311 of the CPA. The SCA set aside sentence and remitted the matter to the High Court. Director of Public Prosecutions, Gauteng v MG 2017 (2) SACR 132 (SCA).
Damages for unlawful arrest on a charge of prostitution
The plaintiff had been unlawfully arrested and detained for 37 hours, before being released and the charge against her of prostitution dismissed. In determining damages, the court considered the inhumane conditions of the cell, the stigmatisation the complainant had suffered given the nature of the charge, and the fact that she had lost her job. An award of damages of R120 000 was found to be appropriate. Mathe v Minister of Police 2017 (2) SACR 211 (GJ).
An interpreter is permitted to administer oath in criminal proceedings
In criminal proceedings, where a witness testified through an interpreter, the latter was empowered to administer the prescribed oath if the judicial officer so preferred and if the interpreter did so in the presence of or under the eyes of the judicial officer. S v Pilane 2017 (2) SACR 154 (SCA).
Namibian Law Reports
Liability of the government for damages for delictual claims against magistrate
Based on conduct of a magistrate who heard his case, the plaintiff sued, in addition to that magistrate, the government for delictual damages. Could the state be liable for the judicial acts of a magistrate because, while exercising over the case of the plaintiff, the magistrate was exercising the judicial power of the state of the Republic of Namibia. The court concluded that it could not, based on the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution, which recognised the independence of the judiciary. Visagie v Government of the Republic of Namibia and Others 2017 (2) NR 488 (HC)
Constitutionality of medical licensing scheme requiring doctors to be licensed to sell medication
In issue was the constitutionality of provisions of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act 13 of 2003, which imposed a requirement on doctors to be licensed to sell medications. The court held that the licensing scheme created was unconstitutional, for lack of guidelines and standards, resulting in arbitrariness and discrimination between equally situated doctors. Medical Association of Namibia and Another v Minister of Health and Social Services and Others 2017 (2) NR 544 (SC).
An appropriate sentence in respect of repeat offender of minor offences
The accused was convicted for the theft of a pack of biscuits. The accused had two previous convictions for similar petty offences. In considering an appropriate sentence, the court stressed that the punishment had to relate to the actual offence committed, and that the fact of previous convictions did not alter the petty nature of the offence under consideration. The court reduced the two-year sentence of imprisonment handed down by the court a quo, and suspended part of it. S v Muchaka 2017 (2) NR 574 (HC)
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SOUTH AFRICAN LAW REPORTS
TABLE OF CASES
DANIELS v SCRIBANTE AND ANOTHER (CC)
NKABINDE ACJ, CAMERON J, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MBHA AJ,
Land - Land reform—Statutory protection of tenure—Protected occupation of land—Right of occupier to make improvements to property—Occupier may make improvements required to bring dwelling up to standard compatible with human dignity—Permission of owner not required—Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997, s 6; Constitution, s 25(6).
Land - Ownership—Limitation—Absolutist conception of property under common law not prevailing under constitutional dispensation.
Land - Ownership—Limitation—Protection of tenure—Right of occupier to make improvements to property—Involving corresponding positive obligation on owner—Occupier may make improvements required to bring dwelling up to standard compatible with human dignity—Permission of owner not required—Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997, s 6; Constitution, s 25(6).
Constitutional law - Human rights—Application—To private persons—Private persons may bear positive obligations under Bill of Rights—Depending on nature of duty imposed by right in question—Constitution, s 8(2).
JACOBS v COMMUNICARE NPC AND ANOTHER (WCC)
GAMBLE J and KOSE J
Land - Unlawful occupation—Eviction—Statutory eviction—Eviction order—Just and equitable date to vacate land—Determination of—Relevant factors—Homelessness—Where such result reasonable inference, courts must consider local-authority report on availability of alternative or emergency accommodation—Failure to do so constituting procedural defect in eviction proceedings—Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998, ss 4(8)(a) and 4(9).
MWELASE AND OTHERS v DIRECTOR-GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM AND OTHERS (LCC)
Land - Land reform—Labour tenant—Claim—Application for appointment of special master to supervise processing of labour tenant claims under Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act 3 of 1996—Viewed as necessary in light of failure of Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in processing applications by labour tenants for awards of land since commencement of Act—Court permitted to make such order—Restitution of Land Rights Act 22 of 1994, s 32(3)(b), allowing departure from normal adversarial approach to litigation—Law acknowledging that where constitutional rights threatened, such as those of labour tenants, courts empowered to resort to new remedies—Special Master of Labour Tenants appointed.
MINISTER OF HOME AFFAIRS AND OTHERS v SAIDI AND OTHERS (SCA)
MAYA AP, MAJIEDT JA, SWAIN JA, GORVEN AJA and MBATHA AJA
Immigration - Refugee—Asylum seeker permit—Extension—Whether refugee reception officer has power to extend permit after asylum seeker has exhausted internal review or appeal—Refugees Act 130 of 1998, s 22(3).
MANUKHA v ROAD ACCIDENT FUND (SCA)
LEACH JA, TSHIQI JA, THERON JA, PETSE JA and MOLEMELA AJA
Motor vehicle accident - Compensation—Claim against Road Accident Fund—Prescription—Within three years after cause of action, claimant issuing summons against, and lodging claim with, RAF for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages—However, required serious injury report substantiating non-pecuniary damages lodged much later, outside extended five-year time period allowed for issuing of a summons—Whether claim for non-pecuniary damages having prescribed—Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996, ss 17(1), 23 and 24, read with Road Accident Fund Regulations, 2008, reg 3(3)(b)(i).
ESTERHUIZEN AND OTHERS v ROAD ACCIDENT FUND (GP)
Damages - Loss of support—Quantification—Determination of remarriage contingency—Factors—Widow’s physical appearance and nature—Taking it into account offensive towards women and against constitutional values of equality and dignity—No reliance to be placed on factors such as appearance.
MS v HEAD OF DEPARTMENT, WESTERN CAPE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AND OTHERS (WCC)
LE GRANGE J
Education - School—Public school—School fees—Liability—Divorced or separated parents—Interpretation of s 40(1) of South African Schools Act 84 of 1996—Parents jointly, not jointly and severally, liable to pay school fees—South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, s 40(1).
Constitutional law - Legislation—Validity—South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, reg 6(2) read with reg 1, sv ‘combined annual gross income of parents’, of Regulations Relating to the Exemption of Parents from the Payment of School Fees in Public Schools—In determination of whether a parent qualified for exemption, sum of annual incomes of both parents taken into account—Whether violating right to equality and dignity of separated or divorced custodian parent—Approach as per regulations in best interests of child; and encouraged both parents to comply with obligations to support their children—Neither right to equality nor dignity violated.
FACTAPROPS 1052 CC AND ANOTHER v LAND AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA (SCA)
TSHIQI JA, ZONDI JA, VAN DER MERWE JA, NICHOLLS AJA and COPPIN AJA
Prescription - Extinctive prescription—Period of prescription—Debt secured by special notarial bond—Phrase ‘mortgage bond’ in Prescription Act having wide meaning and including ‘special notarial bond’ in terms of Security by Means of Movable Property Act 57 of 1993—Period of prescription of 30 years therefore applying—SCA confirming decision of High Court—Prescription Act 68 of 1969, s 11(a)(i).
WALDIS AND ANOTHER v VON ULMENSTEIN (WCC)
Defamation - Elements—Defamatory statement—To be actionable, statement must have ‘illocutionary force’, ie specific assertive form that conveys its intended effect—May emanate from context.
Media - Social media—Defamation—Final interdict to remove defamatory content from blog granted—Court ordering removal of defamatory statements, leaving balance of blog untouched in public interest.
MOGALE CITY MUNICIPALITY AND OTHERS v FIDELITY SECURITY SERVICES (GJ)
SUTHERLAND J, WINDELL J and MODIBA J
Appeal - Execution—Application to execute pending appeal—Premature and irregular if it precedes lodging of appeal—But irregularity may be cured by taking of further procedural steps—No attempt to rescind and appeal lodged—Application cured—Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013, s 18(4); Uniform Rules of Court, rule 30.
Appeal - Execution—Application to execute pending appeal—Irreparable harm—To applicant if not granted—Irreparable harm meaning irretrievable loss of what applicant entitled to under court order—Loss not retrieved by speculative future claim for damages.
State - Actions by and against—Actions by—Wasteful litigation—Court criticising waste of public funds through dilatory and obstructive rearguard litigation by state.
EX PARTE HP AND OTHERS (GP)
Children - Conception and birth—Surrogacy—Surrogacy facilitation agreement—Unlawful if for remuneration—Courts should be reluctant to confirm surrogate motherhood agreement tainted by unlawful facilitation agreement—Valid payments limited to those set out in Children’s Act 38 of 2005, s 301.
HUYSER v QUICKSURE (PTY) LTD AND ANOTHER (GP)
Prescription - Extinctive prescription—Interruption—By service of process—Notice of joinder—SCA decision that notice of joinder not interrupting prescription, distinguished—Case law establishing that process served interrupting prescription where proceedings begun thereunder were instituted as step in enforcing claim for payment of debt—Notice of joinder in present circumstances meeting such standard—Prescription Act 68 of 1969, s 15(1).
JIGGER PROPERTIES CC v MAYNARD NO AND OTHERS (KZP)
JAPPIE JP, VAN ZYL J and SEEGOBIN J
Spoliation - Mandament van spolie—When available—Dispossession of right of access—Not available where no occupation or physical control exercised over property but right of access arising solely from contract.
Spoliation - Mandament van spolie—When available—Threats of spoliation—Actual wrongful deprivation of right of possession required—Not available to protect against mere threat of dispossession.
TS AND ANOTHER v LIFE HEALTHCARE GROUP (PTY) LTD AND ANOTHER (KZD)
PLOOS VAN AMSTEL J
Medicine - Medical practitioner—Malpractice—Unlawfulness or wrongfulness—Whether legal duty to exercise required care could exist in absence of doctor/patient relationship—Parents claiming damages against doctor for harm suffered by child during birth—Defendant doctor attending labour while covering for mother’s own doctor—Existence of doctor–patient relationship not determinative of whether legal duty existing—Proper test being whether public-policy considerations requiring that doctor owed patient and unborn baby legal duty and whether he should be held liable to compensate them for damage caused by negligence on his part.
BP SOUTHERN AFRICA (PTY) LTD v INTERTRANS OIL SA (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS (GJ)
VAN DER LINDE J
Company - Business rescue—Effect on contracts—Suspension of ‘any obligation’ arising from agreements—Scope of ‘any obligation’—Including company’s obligations contractually tied with reciprocal obligation of creditor under same agreement—Creditor retaining contractual remedies in event of such suspension but may not demand performance contrary to suspension—Companies Act 71 of 2008, s 136(2)(a)(i).
Company - Business rescue—Effect on contracts—Suspension of ‘any obligation’ arising from agreements—Effect on cession of future book debts—Companies Act 71 of 2008, ss 134(3), 136(2)(a)(i) and 136(2A)(c).
Company - Business rescue—Moratorium on legal proceedings against company—Leave of court to commence or proceed with legal proceedings—Application for—Whether may be made by way of prayer in application to commence or proceed with legal proceedings, or must be made in separate application—Companies Act 71 of 2008, s 133(1)(b).
Company - Business rescue—Termination—Setting aside resolution to begin rescue and putting company into liquidation—Factors—Resulting unemployment—Companies Act 71 of 2008, s 132(2)(a)(i).
BRODSKY TRADING 224 CC v CRONIMET CHROME MINING SA (PTY) LTD AND OTHERS (SCA)
CACHALIA JA, PETSE JA, SWAIN JA, MATHOPO JA and MOCUMIE JA
Estate agent - Fidelity fund certificate—Estate agent company converted to close corporation; certificate issued to erstwhile company; corporation procuring buyer for property—Whether corporation complying with requirement that only holder of certificate may perform acts of estate agent and receive remuneration therefor—Whether property sold comprising ‘business undertaking’—Whether buyer or joint venture liable for commission—Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976, ss 1, 26 and 34A(1).
MOBILE TELEPHONE NETWORKS (PTY) LTD v BEEKMANS NO AND OTHERS (SCA)
LEACH JA, PETSE JA, DAMBUZA JA, MATHOPO JA and VAN DER MERWE JA
Local authority - Buildings—Temporary buildings—Meaning of ‘provisional authorisation’—Requirements for classification as temporary building—National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977; National Building Regulations, regs A23(1) and A23(6).
MTSHALI AND OTHERS v MASAWI AND OTHERS (GJ)
SPILG J, COPPIN J and MOSHIDI J
Local authority - Housing—Temporary emergency accommodation—Whether lawful for municipality to charge for and to engage private party to provide—Mediation to resolve accommodation-allocation disputes—Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998, s 7.
Land - Unlawful occupation—Eviction—Statutory eviction—Groups—Identification of members—Resistance to service—Instigators to non-compliance with eviction orders—Recommendations.
SOUTH AFRICAN CRIMINAL LAW REPORTS
TABLE OF CASES
S v KLASSEN (SCA)
LEACH JA, SALDULKER JA, ZONDI JA, MATHOPO JA and COPPIN AJA
Sentence - Imprisonment—Parole—Order that accused not to be released on parole for certain period in terms of s 276B of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Such power to be sparingly exercised and only after proper enquiry.
S v NWABUNWANNE (NCK)
Bail - Application for—Onus—On accused—Section 60(11) of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Before accused burdened with onus, jurisdictional fact that offence was one listed in sch 5 or 6 to Act to be properly established.
Bail - Application for—Onus—On accused—Section 60(11) of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Given drastic consequences of s 60(11), desirable that procedural provisions of s 60(11A) be closely adhered to.
Bail - Application for—Second or subsequent application—New facts—Accused should not lightly be denied opportunity of presenting new facts.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, GAUTENG v MG (SCA)
LEWIS JA, PETSE JA, MATHOPO JA, GORVEN AJA and MBATHA AJA
Appeal - By Director of Public Prosecutions in terms of s 311 of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Question of law—What constitutes—Imputing consent to sexual acts by 10-year-old child in mitigation of sentence constituting error of law triggering s 311.
S v JA (NCK)
KGOMO JP, OLIVIER J and ERASMUS AJ
Rape - Sentence—Life imprisonment—Minimum sentence in terms of Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997—Relatively old offender—Argument that would only be eligible for parole when very old and therefore life imprisonment not appropriate, rejected.
S v PILANE (SCA)
CACHALIA JA, WALLIS JA, MOLEMELA AJA, GORVEN AJA and MBATHA AJA
Evidence - Witness—Oath—Administering of—By interpreter—Permissible where done in presence of judicial officer.
S v MOKGALAKA (GJ)
MASHILE J and KUNY AJ
Sentence - Prescribed minimum sentences—Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997—Charge—Charge-sheet not specifying whether accused charged with murder under s 51(1) or (2)—Record of bail proceedings indicating that accused charged with sch 6 offence and that provisions of s 51(1) applicable—No prejudice suffered.
S v MUNYAI (GJ)
SUTHERLAND J and SHANGISA AJ
Appeal - Further evidence—Application for—Approach to—Application fundamentally flawed in that circumstances in which complainant recanted her incriminating evidence not explained, but evidence on which conviction based problematic—Court providing directions for further conduct of case.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, GAUTENG v KM (SCA)
MAYA AP, THERON JA, DAMBUZA JA, MOLEMELA AJA and GORVEN AJA
Appeal - By Director of Public Prosecutions in terms of s 311 of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Leave to appeal—Not required under section.
S v LIESCHING AND OTHERS (CC)
MOGOENG CJ, NKABINDE ADCJ, FRONEMAN J, JAFTA J, KHAMPEPE J, MADLANGA J, MBHA AJ, MHLANTLA J, MUSI AJ and ZONDO J
Appeal - Leave to appeal—Refusal of by Supreme Court of Appeal—Reconsideration of—Applicability of s 17(2)(f) of Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013 to criminal appeals—Definition of ‘appeal’ in s 1 not excluding all criminal matters from scope of ch 5 of Act—Section 17(2)(f) applicable in present matter.
MATHE v MINISTER OF POLICE (GJ)
Damages - Measure of—For unlawful arrest and detention—Plaintiff unlawfully arrested and detained for 37 hours before release at court after charge of prostitution dismissed—Arrest taking place whilst waiting for taxi with her two friends after having had meal at restaurant—Conditions in cell where she was detained inhumane, stigmatised as result of nature of charge and lost job—Damages of R120 000 awarded.
THE NAMIBIAN LAW REPORTS
TABLE OF CASES
TORBITT AND OTHERS v INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MANAGEMENT (SC)
DAMASEB DCJ, MAINGA JA and HOFF AJA
Statute - Interpretation—Labour Act 11 of 2007, s 86(18)—Interpretation should take scope and purpose of Act into account—Word ‘must’ directory and permissive, requiring substantial compliance only and not peremptory—Such interpretation achieving object of effective and efficient resolution of disputes and avoiding gross injustice to appellant who had no control over exercise of duties of arbitrator—Appeal upheld.
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA AND OTHERS v ANHUI FOREIGN ECONOMIC CONSTRUCTION GROUP CORPORATION LTD AND ANOTHER (SC)
SHIVUTE CJ, MAINGA JA and SMUTS JA
Administrative law - Tender award—Failure to follow procurement procedure of Tender Board of Namibia Act 16 of 1996 and failure to obtain treasury approval under s 17 of State Finance Act 31 of 1991—Tender award unlawful and invalid—Until award set aside as nullity by court it might have consequences—Fatally defective award set aside.
Administrative law - Administrative action—Directive—Incumbent on minister when issuing directive under s 9 of Airports Company Act 25 of 1998 to comply with requirements of s 9—Compliance required by rule of law and principle of legality enshrined in art 1 of Constitution—President’s powers under art 32 of Constitution could not save invalid exercise of statutory powers—Comprehensive non-compliance with s 9—Principle of legality, rule of law and public interest required setting aside of invalid administrative action—Directive issued under s 9 invalid and set aside.
VISSER v MINISTER OF FINANCE AND OTHERS (SC)
DAMASEB DCJ, HOFF JA and FRANK AJA
Statute - Regulations—Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund Act 4 of 2001—Legality of—Delegation of power to regulate to minister—Permissible to delegate subordinate regulatory authority—Minister acting in circumscribed parameters authorised by Act—Limited resources available in Motor Vehicle Accident Fund for compensation—Minister acted within clearly circumscribed parameters in making determinations which Act expressly authorised—Regulations rational and justified—Minister not acting ultra vires his powers—Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund Act 4 of 2001, s 10(2).
Constitutional law - Legislation—Constitutionality of—Regulations published under Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund Act 4 of 2001, s 10(2)—Capping of amounts claimable from Motor Vehicle Accident Fund—No differentiation, distinction or discrimination between people or categories of persons, based on sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status contemplated in art 10 of Constitution in capped categories or amounts recoverable from Fund—Balance of claim can be recovered from wrongdoer under s 11 of Act—Act and regulations not unconstitutional—Appeal dismissed.
MILLER NO AND OTHERS v PROSPERITY AFRICA HOLDINGS (PTY) LTD (HC)
Company - Foreign liquidation—Recognition of foreign liquidator—Failure of foreign liquidator to apply for recognition prior to issuing summons in Namibia—Foreign liquidator has no locus standi and summons issued a nullity—Nullity could not be condoned and proceedings could not be ratified—Application refused.
PROSECUTOR-GENERAL v MIGUEL AND OTHERS (HC)
Criminal procedure - Appeal—Leave to appeal—Stay of execution of magistrate’s order pending finalisation of application for leave to appeal—Joinder of magistrate as party to proceedings—Magistrate had no direct and substantial interest in application—Joinder not necessary.
Court - Jurisdiction—High court—Interlocutory order sought by state in criminal proceedings—Court vested with inherent jurisdiction to make any order not prohibited by law when just and equitable, ensuring observance of due process of law, to do justice between parties and to secure fair trial—State has prima facie right to appeal—Pendente lite relief granted.
MERIT INVESTMENT ELEVEN (PTY) LTD v NAMSOV FISHING ENTERPRISES (PTY) LTD (SC)
DAMASEB DCJ, MAINGA JA and SMUTS JA
Arbitration - Arbitration agreement—Arbitration Act 42 of 1965, s 1 requiring written arbitration agreement—Terms of arbitration agreement set out in letter and accepted by appellant—Act did not require agreement to be signed—Arbitration not nullity—Appeal dismissed.
Costs - Attorney and client costs—Appeal—New points on appeal—Point completely at variance with appellant’s prior stance, admissions, pleaded position and facts—New point utterly contrived, entirely unsustainable and against evidence and legal principles—Raising of new point impermissible—Unprincipled litigation warranted censure and justified special cost order on scale as between attorney and client.
Jurisdiction - High Court—Parties accepted facts sufficiently established to bestow jurisdiction on court—Court not required to make inquiries about facts upon which its jurisdiction vested.
BANK WINDHOEK LTD v BENLIN INVESTMENT CC (HC)
Practice - Judgments and orders—Summary judgment—Interlocutory application—Compliance with High Court Rules, rule 32(9) and (10) peremptory for all interlocutory applications—Compliance required genuine deliberate engagement in process of attempting to resolve matters amicably—Full participation by both parties required—Non-compliance with rule 32(9) and (10) rendering application fatally defective—Application struck from roll.
LTS v GPS AND OTHERS (HC)
Appeal - Notice of appeal—Validity of—Failure to furnish security for costs—Validity of notice of appeal to be determined by court of appeal—Court of appeal has discretion to condone non-compliance with rules.
AUAS DIAMOND COMPANY (PTY) LTD v MINISTER OF MINES AND ENERGY (SC)
SHIVUTE CJ, MARITZ JA and STRYDOM AJA
Mines and minerals - Exclusive prospecting licence—Renewal in terms of s 48 of Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act 33 of 1992—Renewal subject to acceptance of terms and conditions within one month of being granted—Acceptance of renewal by person not authorised to do so—Renewal of licence lapsing—Time periods in Act peremptory—Respondent refusing further renewal—Appellant retained no residual rights to apply for second renewal.
NELUMBU AND OTHERS v HIKUMWAH AND OTHERS (SC)
DAMASEB DCJ, SMUTS JA and HOFF JA
Practice - Applications and motions—Founding affidavit—Must contain all necessary averments to sustain cause of action and lay basis for case—Affidavits constituting pleadings and evidence—Party could not rely on different cause of action in replying affidavit—Portions in annexures relied upon must be identified in affidavit and indication must be given of case sought to be made out based on such portions.
Constitutional law - Fundamental rights—Breach of audi alteram partem rule under art 18 of Constitution—Audi flexible rule—Specific bases for reliance on breach must be clearly pleaded—Appellants could put up facts and contentions as to why on facts respondents’ removal did not offend Constitution—Affidavits lacking in specificity—Appeal succeeding.
S v DIERGAARDT (HC)
NDAUENDAPO J and LIEBENBERG J
Criminal law - General principles of liability—Mens rea—Mistake of fact—Mistake must be bona fide and reasonable—Theft of calf mistakenly believed to be res nullius—Based on evidence belief neither bona fide nor reasonable—Conviction upheld.
Criminal law - Stock theft—Sentence—Appeal against—Court a quo misdirected itself by being guided by prescribed minimum sentence of two years applicable to stock valued at less than N$500 and by giving equal weight to all factors—Court enjoined to give more weight to certain factors and less to others in finding suitable sentence—Court substituting sentence with a wholly suspended sentence.
LIKUWA AND OTHERS v COUNCIL OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF WINDHOEK AND ANOTHER (HC)
Spoliation - Mandament van spolie—When available—Applicants must prove peaceful and undisturbed possession and deprivation thereof—Applicants failing to prove peaceful possession and deprivation thereof—Applicants attempting to build structures on municipal land—Respondents preventing unlawful building of shacks—Applicants’ type of possession amounting to land grabbing not enjoying protection of mandament van spolie.
EK v BK (NLD)
Court - Hierarchy of courts—High Court took precedence over magistrates’ courts—Supreme Court took precedence over all courts—Magistrate’s court could not refuse legal practitioner permission to appear in High Court—Failure of appearance impaired dignity of court—Magistrate’s court has duty of obeying hierarchal command of appearance—Legal practitioner not required to provide proof of commitment to appear in High Court or Supreme Court.
Legal practitioner - Rights and duties—Duty of obeying hierarchal command of appearance in court—Legal practitioner not required to produce proof of commitment to appear in superior court—Legal practitioner’s duty to court first priority above that of his/her client—Legal practitioner must renounce agency to save his/her own integrity thereby promoting proper administration of justice.
ZHAO v ERF ONE EIGHT FIVE THREE (CC/2007/0071) KLEIN WINDHOEK PROPERTY CC AND ANOTHER AND ONE OTHER CASE (HC)
Close corporation - Winding up—In what cases—Deadlock between members—Breakdown of trust and confidence—Pending litigation between members—Winding up required to be just and equitable—Mere existence of deadlock not per se rendering winding up just and equitable—Not just and equitable to liquidate close corporations while litigation pending— Application stayed pending finalisation of litigation—Close Corporations Act 26 of 1988, s 68(d).
VISAGIE v GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA AND OTHERS (HC)
GEIER J, UEITELE J and MILLER AJ
Constitutional law - Constitution—Interpretation of—Constitution composite document giving effect to principles expressed in preamble read with art 1(1)–(3) and art 78(2) and (3) and differentiation between other organs of state and judiciary in art 25(1) and (2)—Constitution to be interpreted as a whole—Judiciary independent.
State - Liability—For damages—Delict committed by member of judiciary—Judiciary independent—State/government not liable for damages for delictual claims against magistrate—Judicial officers personally liable if plaintiff established requisite elements.
MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF NAMIBIA AND ANOTHER v MINISTER OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES AND OTHERS (SC)
DAMASEB DCJ, MAINGA JA and O’REGAN AJA
Constitutional law - Legislation—Constitutionality of—Limitation imposed by s 31(3) of Medicines and Related Substances Control Act 13 of 2003 requiring licensing by regulatory council to sell medicine—Limitation subject to art 21(1) and 21(2) of Constitution—Absence of guidelines and standards resulting in arbitrariness and discrimination between equally situated doctors—Licensing scheme resulted in institutional failure—Limitation inconsistent with Constitution and invalid.
Constitutional law - Legislation—Constitutionality of—Severability of unconstitutional licensing scheme—Severance based on principle of separation of powers—After carving out unconstitutional provisions, remainder must be workable and consistent with Constitution and constitutionally legitimate objectives of legislation—Severance of invalid provisions ordered.
Statute - Validity—Medicines and Related Substances Control Act 13 of 2003, ss 29(7)(b), 29(9)(b), 29(13)(b), 29(19)(b) and 31(3)—Licensing scheme requiring doctors to be licenced to sell medicine—Scheme imposing discriminatory limitation on doctors—Words ‘who holds a licence contemplated in section 31(3) subject to the conditions of that license’ where they appear in s 29(7)(b), 29(9)(b), 29(13)(b), 29(19)(b) invalid and s 31(3) declared of no force and effect.
MATENGU v MINISTER OF SAFETY AND SECURITY AND OTHERS (HC)
Constitutional law - Separation of powers—Separation between judiciary and other organs of state—Judicial intervention limited to preventing violation of Constitution—Applicant seeking transfer to another prison—Applicant failing to request transfer in terms of s 74 of Correctional Service Act 9 of 2012—Applicant not showing unlawful conduct by Commissioner-General—Court not to encroach upon or usurp powers of executive branch of government—Application dismissed.
S v MUCHAKA (HC)
2017 MARCH 10
Criminal procedure - Sentence—Previous convictions—Minor offences—Theft of biscuits—Petty offences remaining such irrespective of number of previous convictions—Accused repeatedly reoffended—Custodial sentence justified—Punishment must relate to offence committed, be aimed at deterring accused in least harmful way and be reasonable in relation to seriousness of offence—Custodial sentence reduced and partially suspended.
S v MICHAEL (NLD)
TOMMASI J and JANUARY J
Criminal procedure - Plea—Guilty—Section 112(1)(a) of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977—Provision utilised to speedily dispose of minor offences—Magistrate should apply discretion judiciously in determining if case was serious or minor offence—Assault with the intention to cause grievous bodily harm serious offence—Section 112(1)(a) procedure not suitable.
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS LTD v ECKLEBEN (SC)
DAMASEB DCJ, MAINGA JA and HOFF JA
Lease - Validity—Property should be clearly identified or identifiable—Agreement drawn by appellant—Parties ad idem as to premises and essentialia of agreement—Agreement valid.
Contract - Breach—Repudiation—Inferred where party exhibited deliberate and unequivocal intention not to be bound by contract or by unlawful intentional termination of contract—Respondent not evincing intention not to be bound—Respondent desired agreement to run full term.
Contract - Performance—Impossibility of—Nature of contract—Relationship between parties—Nature of impossibility invoked—Self-created impossibility would not avail appellant—Reasonable demands not leading to impossibility of performance—Contemplated or foreseeable and not impossibility—Impossibility was not brought about by vis major or casus fortuitous—Performance not impossible.
JI v HI (NLD)
Practice - Judicial case management—Proceedings court-driven and subject to sanctions—Both defendant and her legal representative failing to attend pre-trial conference—Defendant’s legal practitioner withdrawing without providing address within flexible distance from court, as required by rule 14(3)(b) of High Court Rules—Court granting cost order against defendant’s legal practitioner and ordering practitioner to continue representing defendant until finalisation of matter.
TONATENI HEBEI CONSTRUCTION CC v UNIVERSITY OF NAMIBIA AND OTHERS (HC)
Practice - Pleadings—Exception—Summons—Cause of action—Must exist at time of issue of summons unless special circumstances existing—Plaintiff had no right as cessionary at time of issue of summons—Plaintiff failing to disclose special circumstances—Exception upheld.
Partnership - Claim for repayment of money to partnership account—Averments supporting a claim under actio pro socio—Action available to partners both during subsistence of partnership and after dissolution thereof for specific claims including specific performance for payment of money or other partnership assets which were in his/her possession through misappropriation.
WISE v SHIKUAMBI NO AND ANOTHER (HC)
Costs - Taxation—Review of taxation—Purpose of costs—Indemnification of successful party subject to High Court Rule 32(11)—Exception—Intermediate step incidental to main dispute—Exception interlocutory proceeding contemplated by High Court Rule 32(11)—Costs limited to N$20 000—Taxing Master acting ultra vires his powers for higher amount in allocatur—Allocatur reviewed and set aside.
Practice - Pleadings—Exception—Intermediate step incidental to main dispute—Exception interlocutory proceeding contemplated by High Court Rule 32(11)—Costs limited to N$20 000—Exception deemed to have been raised under new rules by virtue of provisions of rule 138(a).
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