The only way out of our debt crisis is bank failure

Posted 23 September 2018

As we mark the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, economist Michael Hudson looks back over what we have learned in the last decade. Criminally, the major banks were bailed out but not the mortgage bond holders. Banks are bigger and more profitable than ever, but we have now entered an era of debt deflation - meaning more and more of our money is going to pay back bank debts. There is less disposable income available to purchase goods. Don't be fooled by the apparent calm of the financial system - the only way out of this is for banks to fail, or the grisly alternative - a Greece-style austerity programme, with depopulation, job losses and massive economic shrinkage.

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Joburg court ruling paves the way for class action suit against banks

Posted 18 September 2018

Last week’s Joburg court case forcing judges to impose reserve prices on all auction sales resulting from bank repossession has several important ramifications, not least of which it paves the way for a class action suit against the banks for decades of stealing people's home equity in violation of the Constitution.

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Gauteng court judgment puts an end to cheap bank repossessions

Posted 14 September 2018

A full bench of the South Gauteng High Court ruled on Wednesday that repossessed homes may no longer be sold at auction without reserve prices, except in exceptional circumstances.

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Judges grill banks on home repo practices

Posted 03 September 2018

A full bench of the Johannesburg High Court sat last week to deliberate on how and when reserve prices should be applied before repossessed homes are sold at sheriffs’ auctions. The three judges berated the banks for arriving in court without proper paperwork and expecting to be given judgments against clients.                        

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Expropriation without compensation meant nothing to me till my land was invaded

Posted 02 September 2018

Three black Limpopo landowners have forced Police Minister Bheki Cele and Soshanguve station commander Brigadier Samuel Thine to take action against people who invaded their land in Onderstepoort‚ north of Pretoria. They turned to AfriForum to defend against the land invasion. It has also been reported that Cape Town has experienced a 53% increase in land invasions last year. As several observers have pointed out, these are the inevitable consequences of reckless talk surrounding expropriation with compensation. 

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Court papers reveal the state of the mortgage sector

Posted 26 August 2018

Court papers filed in the South Gauteng by two of the major mortgage banks – Standard and Absa – provide a fascinating insight into the health of SA’s property sector. There are about 8 million properties in SA, of which 82% are residential. This amounts to 6,5 million residential properties, of which 33,5% are bonded. The bonded properties were worth R2,6 trillion in 2017, amounting to 52,4% of the total value of all residential properties in SA, and 56,5% of GDP.

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No land grabs allowed - ANC assures AgriSA

Posted 21 August 2018

Agricultural industry association AgriSA said on Tuesday that it welcomed the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) policy commitments regarding agrarian reform and agricultural property with respect to the ongoing debate on the expropriation of land without compensation.

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Nedbank slammed for brazen negligence

Posted 18 August 2018

Ordinary bank clients are seldom legally successful against the giant banks to which they entrust their money, even when the banks make terrible mistakes. That’s why the Namibian case of Faida Trading has intrigued legal writer Carmel Rickard. In her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site, she wonders what caused Nedbank to resort to what looks to her like bullying tactics rather than owning up to an awful and unexplained error by their staff. In the end the judge slammed the bank for being ‘unreasonable’, ‘obdurate’ and ‘brazingly negligent’ – but the customer was put through the wringer in getting there.

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Court to decide on how to handle home repossessions

Posted 15 August 2018

A landmark case to decide how banks should deal with home repossessions will be heard on 28 and 29 August in the South Gauteng High Court.

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Landmark court case seeks to stop over-charging by creditors

Posted 13 August 2018

Court papers filed in the Western Cape High Court last week by University of Stellenbosch’s Law Clinic and Summit Financial Partners make for disturbing reading. They are asking the court to stop creditors from loading unlawful costs onto the accounts of distressed debtors, which they reckon has cost debtors R1 billion in unlawful fees. 

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Outrage builds over fuel price hikes

Posted 12 August 2018

People Against Petrol and Paraffin Price Increases (Papppi), headed by Visvin Reddy, is calling for a 35% drop in fuel prices. Did you know that 38% of what you pay at the pump goes to levies and taxes? And that nearly R2 goes to the bankrupt and corrupted Road Accident Fund? Reddy has had enough. He put out a video stating his case for a fuel price reduction and it got 500,000 hits. Just as Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has thrown a crowbar into e-tolls, so may Papppi bring enough social pressure on government to rein in this runaway train.  

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Wall Street Journal calls Cyril an imitation of Robert Mugabe

Posted 07 August 2018

SA is being blasted by the foreign press. The New York Times climbed into deputy president David Mabuza, former provincial leader in Mpumalanga, for the sad state in which he left the province's public services. According to current and former ANC officials, he siphoned off money from schools and other public services to buy loyalty and amass enormous power, making him impossible to ignore on the national stage and putting him in position to shape South Africa for years to come. The Times wonders how well this sits with President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign to end corruption?

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Business rescue practitioners face down 42 court cases from Gupta associates, creditors

Posted 07 August 2018

The business rescue practitioners trying to save the eight Gupta-owned companies placed under business rescue in February have had to face down 42 court cases in less than four months. That works out at more than 10 a month.

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Zim appears to have dodged the abyss

Posted 05 August 2018

By all accounts, these were the freest elections held in Zimbabwe in more than two decades. But, as MDC representative for South Bulawayo Eddie Cross (who retained his seat) reports, there were clear irregularities. The street riots that took place in Harare last week were entirely understandable, given the historic bias of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). This time, however, the ZEC appears to have discharged its duties with reasonable diligence. As Cross points out, there is a real chance Zimbabwe has swerved from the edge of the abyss and can now begin the arduous task of reconstruction after three decades of plunder under former President Robert Mugabe.

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Can banks sell your house for next to nothing?

Posted 31 July 2018

One of the most popular methods by which South Africans purchase immovable property is through a loan from a bank. This process involves a mortgage bond being registered over the immovable property as security by the bank to ensure that if a person fails to pay back the loan, the bank can rely on this as security in order to claim any outstanding money owed to them.

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Zim election: it's neck and neck

Posted 29 July 2018

Zimbabwe's first post-Mugabe election looks like a neck-and-neck race between President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF and the MDC's Nelson Chamisa. MDC parliamenarian Eddie Cross looks at a numnber of potential outcomes, including the possibility of a coalition in the event there is no clear winner. We also look at Al Jazeera's coverage of the lead-up to the elections.

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Cricket legend Imran Khan wins Pakistan election and promises huge shake-up

Posted 29 July 2018

Cricket legend Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the country's recent election and promises a huge clean-up of corruption. What is also clear is that he plans a realignment with Pakistan's so-called ally, the US. He failed to win an outright majority, but will be able to secure control through a coalition with smaller regional parties.

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Jacob Zuma wants to stop the legal train

Posted 27 July 2018

The corruption case against former president Jacob Zuma and French arms company Thales has been postponed for a further three months to allow the defence teams to make applications for a permanent stay of prosecution.

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Court ruling changes the role of labour broking in SA

Posted 26 July 2018

Labour brokers have been dealt a major blow after the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that they were not dual employers when their clients absorb contract workers as permanent staff.

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Is lawfare the path for political losers?

Posted 25 July 2018

During the last few months, Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has been in and out of court, facing off against her own political party, the Democratic Alliance, which has been moving heaven and earth to get rid of her. Something similar may be on the cards in Knysna and George as well, where the DA is at loggerheads with the mayors that represent it in those municipalities. The SA Catholic Bishops' Conference Parliamentary Liaison Office looks at the growing number of "lawfare" cases - which are argued through the courts rather than in the political arena - and asks whether this beneficial for our democracy.

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Zim poll: opposition closes gap on Mnangagwa

Posted 22 July 2018

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF hope a credible victory in the July 30 election will legitimise the power (both party and state) they gained from the “soft coup” that toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe last November, but a recent poll shows the opposition MDC closing the gap.

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Heist suspect Velile Present worked on Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign

Posted 20 July 2018

The cash heist suspect who worked at the ANC headquarters was involved behind the scenes in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign‚ a newspaper reported on Friday.

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Legal update: recent amendments to the law

Posted 20 July 2018

The following laws were recently amended. Of note, the amendments to the Debt Collectors Act requires attorneys to register as debt collectors and subjects them to the same law as other debt collectors. The Magistrates Court Act has been amended to regulate the rescission of judgments in certain cases, the manner of issuing garnishee orders, and debt collection proceedings. The Superior Courts Act has also been amended to provide for the rescission of judgments by consent and the rescission of judgments where the judgment debt has been paid.

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Confessions of a debt collector

Posted 19 July 2018

Seventy-seven-year-old former stockbroker and debt counsellor Fanie Grove has spent most of his life in financial services, but what he saw as a debt counsellor turned him against credit forever. His advice: avoid credit altogether, but if you must dip your toes in this sewer, be aware of the scams and tricks. 

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Dreaming of a new Zimbabwe as election day approaches

Posted 16 July 2018

Things are hotting up ahead of Zimbabwe's 30 July poll which is expected to be a watershed event for the country. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is led by 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa, who faces off against the 75-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa, formerly part of the Mugabe government before he desposed his one-time boss in a soft coup late last year. Stories are circulating in the Zimbabwean press that Chamisa has been in talks for Mugabe's wife, offering her a potential vice presidency should he win the race. Chamisa denies this. Voters are spoiled for choice of candiates, and the MDC appears to be contemplating the possibility of outright victory for the first time in its history (not counting the corrupt 2000 election which it undoubtedly won but had the result stolen by the ruling Zanu-PF). Not so fast, say Zimbabweans in SA. Chamisa may be young and charismatic, but he has not earned the trust of voters. If that's the case, could we see Mnangagwa pulling off yet another term for Zanu-PF? MDC parliamentarian from South Bulawayo, Eddie Cross, looks at what the new government has to confront, regardless of who wins.

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