DA wins court battle over Zuma "thief" message

Posted 19 January 2015

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Democratic Alliance was within its rights to claim that President Zuma had stolen South Africans' money to build his R246 million Nkandla residence in Kwazulu-Natal.

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Does the minister have the power to sack Hawks chief?

Posted 19 January 2015

Was there political interference in the suspension of Hawks chief Anwa Dramat? More importantly, was the suspension lawful in terms of the SA Police Services Act, parts of which were deleted by teh Constitutional Court late last year. The court will deecide on the matter this week.

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The case of the disgruntled customer who ran his own billboard campaign

Posted 15 January 2015

When a disgruntled cell phone customer got no satisfaction from the company management, he took his campaign for consumer justice to the public - by way of a billboard proclaiming the company "the most useless service provider in SA." It was the start of an angry court exchange.

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The rise of the consumer

Posted 14 January 2015

A draft Code of Conduct for the Consumer Protection Act was published for comment late last year. It establishes an Ombud to deal with consumer complaints, and sets out to eliminate unfair, fraudulent and undesirable trade practices.

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Creditor can take judgment if consumer defaults under debt arrangement

Posted 13 January 2015

Rose Norton reports on a recent case where a consumer defaulted on the terms of a debt rearrangement and the bank successfully applied for summary judgment. The consumer took the matter on appeal, arguing that the creditor could not sue without rescinding or varying the debt rearrangement. The bank won the case on appeal.

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Maybe there is justice after all for liquidated guest lodge

Posted 07 January 2015

The Highlands View Guest Lodge in Kensington, Johannesburg, successfully fought off an attempt by Nedbank to derail its application to overturn the liquidation order granted against it last year in the South Gauteng High Court. Now, nearly five years later, it seems the court will get to hear accusations of fraud and perjury against the bank. 

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How to root out corruption: start at the top

Posted 07 January 2015

The SA government's response to corruption is to call for committees and investigating panels. Then it proceeds to undermine its own anti-corruption bodies, such as the National Protector. If it wants to get rid of corruption, it should start at the top.

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SARS' threatening TV ads are counter-productive

Posted 05 January 2015

SA Revenue Service (SARS) warns taxpayers in a new series of TV advertisements that "We are closing in on you." That's a far cry from the "SARS thanks you" ads of a year ago. High taxes have resulted in 20% of fuel and 45% of cigarettes in SA being smuggled. The new ads are counter-productive, writes Loane Sharp.

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Eskom hit by R600m law suit over pensions and funeral cover

Posted 15 December 2014

Eskom has been hit with a R600m law sui8t by two firms claiming the state power utility unlawfully terminated pension and funeral cover policies for its employees.

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Dewani not guilty of murder

Posted 08 December 2014

Shrien Dewani was found not guiltyof murdering his wife Anni while on honeymoon in the Cape in 2010. Judge Traverso found that the murder charge rested on the unreliable evidence of the taxi driver who supposedly organised the execution of Anni. A support group calling itself Justice4Anni called the verdict an insult to the people of SA. 

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Corruption index puts SA in some pretty dodgy company

Posted 04 December 2014

SA ranks 67th out of 144 countries in terms of corruption, putting us in some pretty dodgy company. Is there evidence of "corruption fatigue" setting in, to the point where people do not pay much attention to it anymore? 

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Absa gets snot-klapped in Pretoria High Court by women's army

Posted 30 November 2014

Aba's troubles in its mortgage division just got a whole lot worse. Barely two months after losing two similar cases in the South Gauteng High Court, the bank folded before throwing a punch in the Pretoria High Court against two sisters who made startling allegations of fraud and misconduct against the bank. 

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Steel group loses court battle over environmental documents

Posted 27 November 2014

The Supreme Court of Appeal in a scathing judgment has ordered ArcelorMittal SA to hand over documents to an environmental group concerned with monitoring environmental practices by private companies. This case has wide implications for business in South Africa.

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Right To Know campaigners gather outside Joburg Court

Posted 24 November 2014

The Right To Know campaign is taking its fight to the courts, demanding that the SA Police Services release its list of National Key Points. It is arguing that making public the list of Key Points is a crucial step in challenging the creep of unjustified national security secrecy in SA.

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Hofmeyr takes puppet master to court in Twitter war

Posted 24 November 2014

Two entertainers - Steve Hofmeyr and puppet master Chester Missing - will battle it out in court this week over accusations of racism. This is thought to be the first time a puppet has been cited in court papers.

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Rights of mentally unfit accused of serious crimes comes under scrutiny

Posted 18 November 2014

What are the rights of mentally ill people who are accused of serious crimes? Previously, they were locked up in institutions, but a recent case makes this more difficult and courts have less discretion to use mental institutions as dumping grounds for difficult cases.

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German readers desert mainstream media over skewed reporting on Russia

Posted 11 November 2014

German readers are deserting the mainstream media over the skewed reporting on Russia. It's not a gradual decline, but a wholesale plunge, as this article explains. But it all started when a German editor brought out a book detailing how German publications have been bought off by the CIA. 

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Eskom moves to prevent jail time for executives

Posted 10 November 2014

Westinghouse is asking the North Gauteng High Court to jail two Eskom executives for failure to hand over documents relating to a R4,3 billion tneder at the Koeberg nuclear power station. Eskom is fighting back, claiming this is a "gross abuse of the court process."

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How to start a war and lose an empire

Posted 08 November 2014

The US and NATO's attempts to encircle and defang the Russian threat have backfired horribly, writes Dmitry Orlov. The US and its allies are increasingly isolated in the world, and Russia is emerging as the clear victor in this dangerous game of chess now being played out in Ukraine. 

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Banks to be hit with avalanche of cases from dispossessed home owners

Posted 07 November 2014

South African banks are about to be hit with an avalanche of legal suits from dispossessed home owners whose properties were sold in execution at a fraction of their market value. They are arguing that this violates their Constitutional rights to property and fair administrative justice.

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It would be folly to reinstate Cele as head of police

Posted 06 November 2014

The recent murder of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa has prompted calls for tougher action on violent crime, but it would be wrong to reinstate the cantankerous former police commissioner Bheke Cele to his former position. 

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Dewani trial could be over in days

Posted 05 November 2014

The South African justice system's reputation is taking strain after the defence team for Shrien Dewani - accused of setting up the murder of his wife in 2010 - starts to fall apart. The Daily Mail speculates that he could be home within days. 

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Plea bargains are judicial bribery

Posted 30 October 2014

South Africa's introduction of plea bargaining has resulted in police laziness rather than better justice, writes Letepe Maisela. This is likey to become a factor in the Shrien Dewani trial, now taking place in the Cape.

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The tyranny of political correctness is hobbling this government

Posted 29 October 2014

The tyranny of political correctness is hobbling this government, preventing it from doing what has to be done sooner or later: privatise not just parastatals but health care insurance and other areas of state incursion into the economy, writes Leon Louw of the Free Market Foundation. 

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The US dollar just got a Zimbabwe-style make-over

Posted 26 October 2014

Given the recent tremors in world stock markets, future historians might regard the US dollar as an object of derision or a relic of some mad past. Either way, the world economy is headed for interesting times.

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