• Mariza van Wyk

Summary of Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court judgments handed down during July 2021

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


Agriculture

Civil Procedure

Constitutional Law

Construction Law

Contract

Disaster Management (COVID-19)

Elections

Employment Law

Insolvency Law

Local Government

Medical Law

Public Protector

Suretyships

Water


Agriculture


Bertie Van Zyl (Pty) Ltd t/a ZZ2 and Others v Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Others (549/2020) [2021] ZASCA 101 (14 July 2021)

Constitutional challenge to power of assignee to determine its fees – Agricultural Product Standards Act 119 of 1990, s 3(1A)(b)(ii) – Constitution, s 25(1) and s 195(1) – Deprivation of property – Rule of law Judicial review – Procedural fairness – Rationality review.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/101.pdf

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/101media.pdf


Civil Procedure


Ethekwini Municipality v Crimson Clover Trading 17 (Pty) Ltd t/a Island Hotel (280/2020) [2021] ZASCA 96 (1 July 2021)

Appeal against order granting condonation for failure to serve notice in terms of Institution of Legal Proceedings Against Certain Organs of State Act 40 of 2002, s 3(2) – Failure to show good cause for delay – Order set aside.

http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/96.pdf


Constitutional Law


Qwelane v South African Human Rights Commission and Another (CCT 13/20) [2021] ZACC 22 (30 July 2021)

Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 — constitutionality of section 10(1) — section 10(1) is unconstitutional to the extent that it includes “hurtful”.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/22.pdf

Media Summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/22media.pdf


Construction Law


Sasol South Africa (Pty) Ltd v Murray & Roberts Ltd (425/2020) [2021] ZASCA 94 (28 June 2021)

Construction contract – Contract providing for dispute resolution process – Arbitration award final and binding on parties until and unless set aside on review – Project manager refusing to implement some findings of arbitrator – Dispute relating to project manager’s refusal to implement arbitrator’s findings referred to adjudicator for adjudication – Adjudicator applying the principles established in arbitration award – Party to contract not entitled to ignore adjudicator’s decision simply on ground that it considers it to be invalid – Appeal dismissed.

http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/94.pdf


Contract


Capitec Bank Holdings Limited and Another v Coral Lagoon Investments 194 (Pty) Ltd and Others (470/2020) [2021] ZASCA 99 (09 July 2021)

Contract – approach to interpretation – good faith – consent as a requirement for the sale of shares – past conduct as a guide to interpretation – parol evidence rule – good faith at common law – independent source of contractual obligation – orders requiring the grant of consent.

http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/100.html


Disaster Management (COVID-19)


Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs v De Beer and Another (538/2020) [2021] ZASCA 95 (1 July 2021)

Regulations promulgated under Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002, s 27(2) – Regulations challenged as unconstitutional and irrational – Virtual hearing challenged as contrary to open justice – Need to plead constitutional challenge with specificity and clarity – Rationality, arbitrariness and equality challenges distinguished – Rationality review must be circumscribed – High court order vague and unenforceable – Unfounded and scandalous attacks on courts unacceptable.

http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/95.pdf


Criminal Law and Procedure


Mabaso v The State (677/2020) [2021] ZASCA 98 (9 July 2021)

Criminal Law – a confession by an accused shall not be admissible as evidence against his or her co-accused – a previous inconsistent statement by a hostile witness is only admissible to discredit that witness – no other evidence implicating appellant in the murder of the deceased – appeal upheld and conviction for murder set aside.

http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/98.html


Machi v S (256/2020) [2021] ZASCA 106 (30 July 2021)

Criminal law – murder – circumstantial evidence – sufficiency and reliability thereof – whether common purpose was established – whether contradictions material – whether sentence is appropriate.

http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/106.html


Elections


Electoral Commission of South Africa v Democratic Alliance and Others (1068/2019) [2021] ZASCA 103 (23 July 2021)

Electoral Act 73 of 1998 (EA) – Prohibition on persons publishing false information in s 89(2) to influence outcome of election – Code of Conduct in Schedule 2 to EA – Item 9(1)(b) – Prohibition on parties and candidates publishing false or defamatory allegations – Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996 (ECA) – Powers of the Electoral Commission – ECA, s 5(1)(o) – Limited to adjudication of disputes of administrative nature – Alleged contravention of Code – Member of political party fired – Not dispute of administrative nature – Electoral Commission has no jurisdiction to determine complaint of contravention of Code or to impose remedy therefor.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/103.pdf

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/103media.pdf


Employment Law


Maroveke v Talane NO and Others (CCT 187/20) [2021] ZACC 20 (6 July 2021)

Appeal from Labour Appeal Court – Unfair labour practice – Quantification of back pay – Insufficient information before Labour Court – Material mistake.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/20.pdf

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/20media.pdf


Insolvency


South African Reserve Bank v Leathern NO and Others (854/2020) [2021] ZASCA 102 (20 July 2021)

Funds in bank accounts blocked in terms of Exchange Control Regulations, Regulation 22A and/or 22C – Whether requirements to set aside blocking order satisfied – Whether such funds vested in insolvent estate – Whether sequestration order invalidates blocking order – Appellant’s application for leave to adduce further evidence dismissed.

http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/102.pdf


Local Government


City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality v Zibi and Another (234/2020) [2021] ZASCA 99 (9 July 2021)

Municipal law – Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act 6 of 2004 – municipality within its powers to impose a penalty tariff in the instance of illegal or unauthorised use of property within its jurisdiction – such action not ultra vires if it is in terms of a validly adopted municipal property rates policy – appeal upheld.

http://www.saflii.org.za/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/99.html


Minister of Water and Sanitation v Sembcorp Siza Water (Pty) Ltd and Another (CCT 300/19) [2021] ZACC 21 (23 July 2021)

Water Services Act No 108 of 1997, s 31 – Powers of water boards to set tariffs – Lawful and rational – Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003, s 42 – Confers no power on Minister to set tariff.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/21.pdf

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/21media.pdf


Medical Law


Member of the Executive Council, Department of Health, North West v NAM obo TN (035/2020) [2021] ZASCA 105 (26 July 2021)

Medical negligence – Claim for damages based on failure to attend to plaintiff before delivery and foetus after delivery – Whether clinic nursing staff were negligent in their treatment of plaintiff and TN – Whether negligence caused TN’s hypoxic ischemic injury and resultant cerebral palsy – Failure to discharge onus to prove negligence – Appeal upheld.

http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/105.pdf


Public Protector


Public Protector and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others (CCT 62/20) [2021] ZACC 19 (1 July 2021)

Executive Members’ Ethics Act 82 of 1998 – Direct appeal – Public Protector Act 23 of 1994 – CR17 donations – Complaints under Code – Personal benefit.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/19.pdf

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/19media.pdf


Suretyships


Tshepe and Another v Rustia Feed (Pty) Ltd (90/2020) [2021] ZASCA 104 (23 July 2021)

Contract – Suretyship clause embodied in credit agreement – Application for special leave to appeal to SCA in terms of Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013, s 17(2)(d) – Jurisdiction – Whether applicants validly consented in their personal capacity to increased monetary jurisdiction of magistrates' court in terms of Magistrates' Courts Act 32 of 1944, s 45 – Whether respondent had duty to draw applicants' attention to existence of suretyship clause – Whether applicants were, on basis of iustus error, not bound by terms of suretyship as embodied in credit application – Applicants validly consented to increased monetary jurisdiction of magistrates' court – Duty to inform applicants of existence of suretyship clause did not arise – Iustus error defence not sustainable on facts – No prospects of success on appeal – Dismissed.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/104.pdf

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2021/104media.pdf


Water


Minister of Water and Sanitation v Sembcorp Siza Water (Pty) Ltd and Another (CCT 300/19) [2021] ZACC 21 (23 July 2021)

Water Services Act No 108 of 1997, s 31 – Powers of water boards to set tariffs – Lawful and rational – Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003, s 42 – Confers no power on Minister to set tariff.

Judgment: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/21.pdf

Media summary: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZACC/2021/21media.pdf


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