• Danielle Geldenhuys

Summaries of Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Judgments: April 2022
















WK Construction (Pty) Ltd v Moores Rowland and Others (952/2020) [2022] ZASCA 44 (6 April 2022)

Extinctive prescription – Special plea – Debt deemed due once creditor acquires, or could reasonably have acquired, knowledge of facts from which debt arises – Professional negligence – Test whether creditor had knowledge of facts which would give rise to reasonable suspicion of possible negligence – Knowledge of large scale fraud over number of years by financial director reflected in company accounts – Auditors failing to report any fraud – No requirement of evidence on specific duties of auditors – Knowledge of facts leading to reasonable suspicion of possible negligence established – Special plea correctly upheld.



Dyantyi v Rhodes University and Others (846/2020) [2022] ZASCA 32 (29 March 2022)

Disciplinary proceedings against student at public higher education institution – Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA) applicable – Procedural fairness and right to particular legal representation under PAJA – Dependent on particular circumstances of each case – In absence of compelling reasons to contrary procedurally unfair to require student to forgo services of counsel steeped in part-heard matter and available within reasonable time – Decisions flowing from disciplinary inquiry reviewed and set aside.



Advertising Regulatory Board NPC and Others v Bliss Brands (Pty) Ltd (786/21) [2022] ZASCA 51 (12 April 2022)

Private body exercising public functions – Submission to jurisdiction – Powers of Advertising Regulatory Board (ARB) – Complaints relating to advertising by non-members of ARB – Whether lawful for ARB to consider – Whether ARB structures independent, usurp judicial authority or follow fair procedures – Civil procedure – Courts should decide issues defined by parties – Court raising constitutionality of ARB’s powers mero motu – Inappropriate.



HLB International (South Africa) v MWRK Accountants and Consultants (113/2021) [2022] ZASCA 52 (12 April 2022)

Principles applicable to and interpretation of court order – High court refused to wind up solvent appellant, but held that action of appellant and its majority shareholder is unfairly prejudicial, unjust and inequitable to minority shareholder – High court ordered sale of property – Dismissed.


Kwinana and Others v Ngonyama and Others (103/2021) [2022] ZASCA 48 (8 April 2022)

Civil procedure – Application for intervention on appeal – No legal interest in subject matter of litigation – Application for rescission of default judgment – Sole ground relied upon had been raised in replying affidavit that was rightly not admitted.


Oppressed ACSA Minority 1 (Pty) Ltd and Another v Government: Republic of South Africa and Others (898/2020) [2022] ZASCA 50 (11 April 2022)

Rescission of judgment – No distinction in approach to rescission of consent orders and other judgments – Starting point is court order rather than underlying agreement – Lack of authority to conclude settlement agreement and consequent consent court order – Good cause for rescission established.


Songo v Minister of Police and Others (220/2021) [2022] ZASCA 43 (5 April 2022)

Whether court a quo was correct in holding that fourth and fifth special pleas of no cause of action had to be adjudicated separately – Whether court a quo correct in upholding sixth special plea of misjoinder – Whether court a quo failed to discharge its primary function of determining disputes that were properly before it – Whether this court could determine issues that court a quo declined to determine as court of first instance or remit matter to the court a quo.



Strohmenger v Victor (1133/20) [2022] ZASCA 45 (8 April 2022)

Contract – Restitution – Prescription – Whether special circumstances existed for this court to grant special leave to appeal – Whether respondent had proved his claim and was entitled to relief.



Abdullah v S (134/2021) [2022] ZASCA 33 (31 March 2022)

Caution applied to single witness evidence – Whether state witness’ identification was reliable and credible – Whether appellant’s right to a fair trial was infringed by high court’s refusal to recall state witness after inspection in loco was completed – Appeal dismissed.


Baloyi v S (739/2021) [2022] ZASCA 35 (1 April 2022)

Appeal against judgment and order dismissing appeal against conviction and sentence – Whether murder was premeditated – Life sentence – Appropriateness of sentence – Aggravating circumstances outweighing appellant's personal circumstances – Sentence of life imprisonment appropriate – Dismissed.


Director of Public Prosecutions: Free State v Mokati (440/2019) [2022] ZASCA 31 (25 March 2022)

Conviction and sentence – Culpable homicide – Causation – Mens rea – Whether questions of law properly reserved – Rape – Sentence – Whether prescribed minimum sentence inadequate given aggravating factors – State’s appeal to reserve questions of law dismissed – Respondent’s cross-appeal against conviction and sentence is dismissed.


Khumalo v S (723/2020) [2022] ZASCA 39 (4 April 2022)

Appeal against refusal in high court of petition seeking leave to appeal against convictions and sentences – Reasonable prospects of success found in respect of sentences – Merits of appeal against sentences to be determined by high court.


Komane v S (51/2019) [2022] ZASCA 55 (20 April 2022)

Evidence – What constitutes sufficiency of circumstantial evidence – Conviction based on circumstantial evidence well founded – Convicted on strength of DNA evidence and confession – Importance of conducting proper pointing out – Conviction confirmed.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2022/55.pdf.

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2022/55media.pdf.

Mpuqe v S (53/2021) [2022] ZASCA 37 (4 April 2022)

Appellant indicted for murder under Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997, s 51(2) – Convicted and sentenced under s 51(1) – Sentence of life imprisonment confirmed; sentence relating to possession of firearms and ammunition under s 51(2) confirmed – Appellant convicted for attempted murder under common law – Sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment set aside – Reduced to 10 years – To run concurrently with other sentences.



AK v Minister of Police (CCT 94/20) [2022] ZACC 14 (5 April 2022)

Delict – Wrongfulness – Negligence – Extent of police liability for negligent police work – Psychopathological harm.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/14.pdf.

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/14media.pdf.

Biyela v Minister of Police (1017/2020) [2022] ZASCA 36 (1 April 2022)

Delict – Unlawful arrest and detention – Inadmissible hearsay evidence can form basis of reasonable suspicion by peace officer – Court a quo should have concluded that respondent did not prove that appellant was arrested lawfully – Upheld.


Minister of Police v Mzingeli and Others (115/2021) [2022] ZASCA 42 (5 April 2022)

Delict – Claim for damages – Quantum of unliquidated damages – No oral evidence – Stated case – Whether properly formulated in terms of Rule 33 – Requirements restated.



Central Energy Fund SOC Ltd and Another v Venus Rays Trade (Pty) Ltd and Others (119/2021) [2022] ZASCA 54 (13 April 2022)

Review under principle of legality and Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 – Rotation of country’s strategic oil stock – Decisions and resultant transactions reviewed and set aside – Just and equitable relief – Factors relevant to assessment – Misconduct by state officials – Contracting parties innocent – Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses appropriate – Appeal dismissed.



Damons v City of Cape Town (CCT 278/20) [2022] ZACC 13 (30 March 2022)

Unfair discrimination – Reasonable accommodation – Inherent requirements of job – Disability law – Importance of pleadings in determining disputes – Employment Equity Act 55 of 1998, s 5, 6(1), 6(2)(b) and 11(1) – Respondent reasonably accommodated applicant, not in post of senior firefighter to which applicant sought to be advanced, but in alternative post – Applicant excluded from operational section as he cannot meet inherent requirement of physical fitness – Complete defence to claim of unfair discrimination – Appeal dismissed.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/13.pdf.

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2022/13media.pdf

Department of Labour: Compensation Commissioner v Botha (326/2020) [2022] ZASCA 38 (4 April 2022)

Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993 – Whether injury on duty resulted in disablement – Extent of permanent disablement and compensation payable – Remittal to tribunal for determination.



Brits v Kommandantsdrift CC and Others (143/2021) [2022] ZASCA 41 (5 April 2022)

Whether contracts of sale of land void due to common error relating to material term by all contracting parties – Whether prescription applicable – Whether issues agreed between parties to be adjudicated were fully determined by high court – Matter remitted to high court.


Loskop Landgoed Boerdery (Pty) Ltd and Others v Petrus Moeleso and Others (390/2021) [2022] ZASCA 53 (12 April 2022)

Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 – Occupiers – Overgrazing of land – Remedies of owner – Removal of livestock does not constitute ‘eviction’ of occupier – Both owner and occupier have duty to prevent overgrazing in terms of Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 34 of 1983 – Court orders not sought by applicants and not supported by pleadings – Respondents not afforded opportunity to state case – Livestock removed without sanction of court – Self-help remedy – Mandament van spolie.


Maluleke NO v Sibanyoni and Others (1012/2020) [2022] ZASCA 40 (4 April 2022)

Land reform – Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 – Termination of right of residence – Whether occupiers given effective opportunity to make representations before termination of right to residence in terms of s 8(1)(e) – If not, whether termination of right of residence just and equitable.



Minister of Health and Another v Alliance of Natural Health Products (South Africa) (256/2021) [2022] ZASCA 49 (11 April 2022)

Medicine – Complementary medicine – Health supplements – General Regulations under Medicines and Related Substances Act 101 of 1965 (GN859 in GG 41064 dated 25 August 2017) – Ultra vires to extent that they purport to regulate substances that are not medicines as defined in the Act.



Municipal Employees' Pension Fund and Another v Mudau and Another (1159/2020) [2022] ZASCA 46 (8 April 2022)

Pension funds – Amendment of pension fund rules to reduce members’ withdrawal benefits with retroactive effect – Such rule valid and enforceable provided that it is adopted in terms of fund rules and applicable statutory regime.



Johannes G Coetzee & Seun and Another v Le Roux and Another (969/2020) [2022] ZASCA 47 (8 April 2022)

Extinctive prescription – ‘Facts from which debt arises’ in terms of Prescription Act 68 of 1969, s 12(3) – Knowledge of legal consequences not required by s 12(3) – Failure to comply with Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981, s 2(1).



Moroka v Premier: Free State Province and Others (295/20) [2022] ZASCA 34 (31 March 2022)

Customary law – Whether Premier contravened Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act 41 of 2003, s 21(2)(b) when he referred dispute in respect of senior traditional leadership to Commission before Free State House of Traditional Leaders could deal with dispute – Decision of Commission on Traditional Leadership Dispute and Claims – Whether Commission had authority to investigate and make recommendations in respect of dispute which arose after 1 September 1927 in terms of Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Act 23 of 2009, s 25(2)(viii) – Whether Commission had authority to deal with dispute which was submitted to it after six months from date of coming into operation of Amendment Act – Commission had no such authority.