Archive for Mar 2016

TENDER FRAUD – FIGHT BACK!

What are our courts doing about the scourge of tender fraud in South Africa? The sentence: 3 years’ prison It’s a hot topic yet again, and honest tenderers can take heart from the effective sentence of 3 years’ imprisonment recently imposed by the Supreme Court of Appeal on a man convicted of tender fraud relating…

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PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS WITH TRUSTS – A RISK TO REMEMBER

Don’t sell property to, nor buy property from, a trust – until, that is, you have written proof that the person representing the trust is properly authorised to do so. The reason is that all land sale agreements must by law be in writing and signed by both parties i.e. the buyer and seller themselves,…

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“TICK TOCK”. ALL COMPANIES – COUNTDOWN TO THE “MOI” DEADLINE!

You have until 30 April 2013 to bring your shareholder agreements and your company’s “MOI” (what used to be called your “Memorandum and Articles of Association” is now a “Memorandum of Incorporation”) into line with the new Companies Act. And you really don’t want to hear this deadline “whooshing by” – if you do, you…

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LENDING TO A FRIEND: THE R7 MILLION, THE LAW, AND THE RISKS

Of the many potential pitfalls inherent in making loans to friends, one of the more dangerous (but lesser-known ones) is that presented by the requirements of the National Credit Act (NCA). It’s a serious risk – failure to comply with the NCA’s many requirements exposes you to substantial losses, including invalidity of your loan agreement…

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PROPERTY: THE PITFALLS OF JOINT OWNERSHIP

Couples (married and unmarried) often decide to buy their home and/or other property jointly. It may seem like the common sense thing to do, but there are many pitfalls for the unwary. Take advice upfront on the various advantages and disadvantages to be considered – depending on your particular circumstances, these could range from tax and estate…

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AUSTEN SMITH’S NEW PARTNER AND CONSULTANT

MPUMELELO MHCUNU We are excited and proud to announce that from 1 March 2016 Mpumelelo Mchunu is now a Partner of our Firm.  Mpumelelo completed his articles with Austen Smith in 2010, and was admitted as an Attorney in the same year. He has a general litigation practice in both the Magistrate’s and High Court, which deals…

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SARS – NEW SEARCH AND SEIZURE POWERS

SARS has a powerful new weapon. The Tax Administration Act (TAA), which has just come into effect, allows SARS to “search and seize” without first obtaining a court warrant. The powers ….. SARS has a powerful new weapon. The Tax Administration Act (TAA), which has just come into effect, allows SARS to “search and seize” without first…

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TRUSTS – A HEALTH WARNING

Trusts can be extremely useful tools in estate and tax planning (and for protection of your assets from life’s misadventures), but they come with a health warning – assets held in a trust now belong to the trust, and no longer to you personally.   A perfect example of how things can go wrong in…

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Child Maintenance – Who is Liable (and Who Isn’t)?

A recent High Court judgment, which has received extensive media attention because of its negative impact on the right of grandparents to claim foster care grants, has shone a spotlight on the question of who has a legal “duty of support” towards children. In broad terms, the following are liable – Biological parents (whether married or…

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