Defamation and character assassination

BECKER V BRITS [2022] ZAWCHC 44 The plaintiff was a very successful farmer who had farmed in his area for over 20 years and was an alumnus of the University of Stellenbosch. The defendant was a pastor to his family for at least 7 years. The defendant wrote letters making accusations about the plaintiff’s alleged… Continue Reading

Dealing with a vexatious litigant?

By Sharusha Moodley, director, Bregman Moodley Inc Attorneys A party to a litigation process may relentlessly launch various legal proceedings against another party currently involved in a litigation process. These legal proceedings may be vexatious because they lack merit, are not bona fide and are aimed at irritating, distressing, harassing, annoying, or causing financial strain… Continue Reading

Failure to communicate the decision to treat a contract as at an end to repudiating party

Dave Pretorius v Kenneth Bedwell (659/2020) [2022] ZASCA The parties were brothers-in-law. Bedwell owned a property in Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape. He needed money to complete a guesthouse project. He sold the property to Pretorius in exchange for a loan to complete the project, it being understood that Bedwell would continue to occupy… Continue Reading

Enforceability of a prenuptial executory donation

DB v CB 2021 JDR 0896 (GP) 2021 JDR 0896 (GP) Marriage — Divorce — Proprietary consequences — Marriage out of community of property — Antenuptial contract — Enforceability of prenuptial executory donation with terms contradicting those of parties’ antenuptial contract — Enforcing such inconsistent with court’s discretion under Divorce Act 70 of 1979, s… Continue Reading

More about legal costs

A client asked, “If I win my case will I get back all the fees I paid you?” Types of legal costs There are three types of legal costs: Party and party costs These are the costs that a court will award the successful party in a court case. The losing party must pay these… Continue Reading

The test for foreseeable injury and negligence

The test for foreseeability of harm The true criterion for determining negligence is whether in the particular circumstances of each specific case the conduct complained of fell short of the standard of the reasonable person. A court can’t seek guidance from the facts and results of other cases. In Pick ‘n Pay Retailers (Pty) Ltd v… Continue Reading

Defamation – don’t rush into suing

Someone has posted a defamatory statement about you in a WhatsApp group or a Facebook post. You feel understandably upset and want urgently to right the wrong. Be careful about rushing off to court, as our courts have been reluctant to award substantial damages unless the person defamed is a high-profile person. Your attorney will… Continue Reading

Electronic Signatures and Emails

In Spring Forest Trading 599 CC v Wilberry (Pty) Ltd T/A Ecowash and Another , the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled that the parties to an agreement that contained a non-variation clause (providing for cancellation to be in writing and signed by the parties) could vary the agreement through an exchange of emails. The… Continue Reading

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