Joburg couple lose two houses over photo-copier machine

Posted 09 June 2016

A young Joburg couple ended up losing two houses after falling R17,500 in arrears on a copier machine they were renting. The Kromers knew nothing of the law when all this was going down, but now they are angry - and fighting back. Had they known at the time what they know now, they would have immediately defended the matter and leaned on the Constitutional prohibition on arbitrary deprivation of property. They would also have invoked the Conventional Penalties Act, which prevents a creditor making a claim such as this out of all proportion to the prejudice suffered. 

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Judge takes just 45 seconds to dismiss DA's attempt to suspend head of public prosecutions

Posted 26 May 2016

Judge Dolamo took just 45 seconds to dismiss a case brought by the Democratic Alliance calling for a commission of inquiry into the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mongcobo Jiba, who has a long and storied history of going to bat for President Zuma in his own troubles with the law.

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Drop in complaints related to EAOs, but Credit Ombud report shows how dodgy lawyers inflate debt

Posted 16 April 2016

The Credit Ombud reports a drop in complaints related to emolument attachment orders (EAO) after the so-called Stellenbosch case, which is now before the Constitutional Court. But the Credit Ombud's annual report for 2015 also shows how dodgy law firms are creating fictitious debts and some unregistered credit providers are refusing to furnish statements of account when asked to do so by customers. 

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Finally! SA moving out of the Stone Age when it comes to home repos

Posted 27 January 2016

As Acts Online has previosuly reported, SA is in the Stone Age when it comes to home repossessions. The good news is that the courts are considering changing its rules to prevent houses being sold at auction without reserve prices.   

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Please call me case ends up in Concourt

Posted 18 January 2016

Nkosana Makate has waged a 16 year battle to get what he argues is his rightful reward for inventing the Please Call Me service while an employee at Vodacom, which has a different view of how the servuce came about. Now the case is about to be decided by the Constitutional Court.

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Residents fight back against banks' eviction tactics

Posted 02 December 2015

Stories of mass evictions were common during the apartheid years. It's happening again, this time at the behest of the banks, but the victims are of every race, including the poorest of the poor. One human rights group has decided to fight back. 

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A Christmas gift for Lennie the Liquidator

Posted 26 November 2015

Last year, two days before Xmas, Lennie Katz, the liquidations supremo at Edward Nathan Sonnenberg, served summons on Noseweek and its editor Martin Welz for “wrongful defamation” over stories he had written on the Brakspear v Nedgroup and other cases. Welz and Noseweek are defending the action. Here’s the latest.

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FNB sells R1,4m property for R10,000 - move along, nothing to look at here

Posted 04 November 2015

FNB valued Mike Russwurm's house in Johannesburg at R1,4m just a few years before he fell into arrears. It then went and sold his house at auction for R10,000. Yes, you read that right. That's less than 1% of its original value. Here's what happened.

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Bogus land claims get short shrift at the Supreme Court

Posted 10 April 2015

Tales of bogus land claims and scammers are legion. One farmer was subjected to a bogus land claim for 10 years, and was met with delays and incompetence when he tried to get answers from the Land Claims Commission. The Supreme Court of Appeal had some choice words for the Commission in a recent case.

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Supreme Court allows City of Cape Town to reveal Sanral's e-tolling secrets

Posted 31 March 2015

The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that court files are open to the public, reinforcing the Constitutional Court's view that proper reporting on court proceedings was vital in promoting open justice and accurate public knowledge of the justice system. 

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Better to mediate than to litigate

Posted 11 March 2015

Litigation is expensive and, by its nature, adversarial. The justice system will soon be able to offer court-based mediation as an alternative method of dispute resolution, where opposing parties will be encouraged to find one point of common agreement, rather than multiple points of disagreement.

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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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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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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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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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Masipa's Pistorius judgment places judicial error in the spotlight

Posted 01 October 2014

Judge Thokozile Masipa has been the subject of ferocious attacks over her culpable homicide verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial. This has placed the subject of judicial error under the spotlight, writes Trudi Makhaya. 

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BDS South Africa wins freedom of expression case

Posted 24 September 2014

BDS South Africa recently won a freedom of expression case against the City of Johannesburg and Continental Outdoor Media after its pro-Palestinian billboards were removed without notice, apparently following pressure from the Israel lobby. 

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Discovery's wriggle backfires

Posted 21 September 2014

Insurance giant Discovery was ordered by the High Court in Johannesburg to pay the partner of murdered business tycoon Jeff Wiggill R11,5 million last month. Discovery had argued that Wiggill was involved in unlawful activities and there were suspicions that his murder may have been an assisted suicide.

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Brakspear trial showcases a broken judicial system

Posted 28 August 2014

Ian Brakspear's trial came to a close last week in the Durban High Court. There were accusations of a forged court order that was used to liquidate his company, West Dunes, and lengthy argument on whether the case was actually heard by a judge. Points were scored by both sides, but overall, it was a shocking display of South African justice at work.

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Class action suits make a debut in SA

Posted 11 August 2014

Class action suits are a rarity in SA, but that appears to be changing. Two recent class action suits - one involving the so-called "Satinsky R699 a month car scheme" and another being brought by Transnet pensioners against their pension fund - have changed the litigation landscape.

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Brakspear wins crucial skirmish in Durban

Posted 26 June 2014

Ian Brakspear won a crucial skirmish in the Durban High Court yesterday when the Judge President set down his case for August and offered to bring in a judge from outside the province. Brakspear claims he was liquidated on the basis of a forgery and a fictitious R7 million loan.

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Road agency to appear in court over fine collections

Posted 24 June 2014

The Road Traffic Infringement Agency is being hauled before the court because it is alleged to have failed to follow the correct procedure in claiming road fines. Without receipt of a registered letter, the agency cannot enforce a fine, according to Fines 4U, which is bringing the action.

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Police to open criminal complaint against attorney involved in Brakspear liquidation

Posted 17 June 2014

The family of Ian Brakspear are filing a criminal complaint with the Hawks against one of the ENS attorneys accused of involvement in a fraudulent liquidation of the family business in 2008. Meanwhile, the Brakspear case is due to be heard before the Durban High Court in August.

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R1 million offered for fraud information in Durban court case

Posted 31 March 2014

A R1 million reward is being offered by a judicial rights group for information relating to the alleged forgery of a signature on a liquidation order that resulted in Durban businessman Ian Brakspear losing his business in 2008. The reward has apparently set the Durban High Court alight with intrigue.

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I was liquidated over a fictitious R7 million loan, says Durban businessman

Posted 13 February 2014

In what must rank as one of the most bizarre legal cases in recent times, Durban businessman Ian Brakspear had his business liquidated in 2009 over a R7 million loan he says he neither asked for nor received. Ciaran Ryan investigates and finds forged signatures, missing files and more.

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