Archive for Jan 2018

TRUSTEES: YOUR RISK OF PERSONAL LIABILITY IN PROPERTY SALES

Firstly, a warning to anyone selling or buying property to/from a trust – have your lawyer check upfront that you are adequately protected by the terms of the sale agreement. The problem is that contracting with trusts has its own specific set of rules and, as a recent High Court case illustrates, standard sale agreements…

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EMPLOYEES BE WARNED! A CONFLICT OF INTEREST CAN GET YOU DISMISSED

“Honesty is the best policy” (Benjamin Franklin) Employees have a general duty to act loyally, honestly and in their employers’ best interests, and amongst other things that entails avoiding any possible conflicts of interest. A recent Labour Court decision confirms that any breach of this duty risks dismissal. A long-service municipal employee dismissed An employee…

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SECURITY ESTATES: ARE YOUR RULES ENFORCEABLE?

 “It is well established that contractual provisions are against public policy ‘… if there is a probability that unconscionable, immoral or illegal conduct will result from the implementation of the provisions according to the tenor’” (extract from judgment below) When you choose to buy into a security estate or other community scheme, you will invariably…

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WHAT DOES 2018 HAVE IN STORE FOR US?

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future” (Niels Bohr, theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner) The last few years have sprung on us a lot more than their fair share of game-changing surprises.  The Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s election, the rise and rise of Bitcoin … the list goes on. So how…

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WORKPLACE DISABILITY AS A RESULT OF A BOTCHED SUICIDE ATTEMPT

This note discusses the case of Smith v Kit Kat Group (Pty) Ltd, where an employee claimed unfair discrimination in terms of the Employment Equity Act in the Labour Court. The employee had attempted to commit suicide by placing a firearm in his mouth and pulling the trigger. The attempt was unsuccessful, but led to…

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WHEN CRIME DOESN’T PAY: VAT FRAUDSTERS BEHIND BARS FOR 25 YEARS

Honest taxpayers, particularly those struggling to get legitimate refunds out of SARS whilst its fraud prevention systems grind along slowly, will hope that potential tax cheats take fright at the stiff sentences handed down recently to three company directors. They were convicted of submitting 198 fraudulent VAT returns over a 3 year period,  involving a…

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PLOT-AND-PLAN: GREAT OPTION, JUST BEWARE THE BUILDING DEADLINE

There are many benefits to the “buy and build” option when you decide to buy a house, but they come with some important cautions. One of them is that buyers who fail to build on their plots by deadline risk penalty levies and/or buy-back (retransfer) clauses.  We discuss a recent SCA case illustrating both the…

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SELLERS AND LANDLORDS: USING AN UNREGISTERED ESTATE AGENT

With media reports suggesting that up to 50,000 agents may be operating without the required Fidelity Fund Certificate, and whilst many former agents have probably just closed up shop, there is a chance that the agent who sold or rented out your house for you is (whether inadvertently or by design) unregistered. We look at…

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