Author: Tania Broughton

A woman paid R5.5-million to what she thought was the conveyancing law firm for a property she bought. But she had been scammed; the email soliciting payment from her was not from the law firm, and the money had been paid into the account of the scammers. At the High Court the law firm was found liable for the woman’s loss and was also ordered to pay punitive costs. But the Supreme Court of Appeal has overturned the High Court’s decision. The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has overturned a High Court ruling that had found leading law firm Edward…

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The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Shell, Impact Africa and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, to overturn a High Court ruling that halted an seismic survey off the Wild Coast. Dismissing the application with costs, the court said community participation had been “illusory”. However, the court has left the door open for Impact Africa and Shell to proceed with their third and final attempt for a renewal of the 2014 exploration rights. But proper and meaningful consultation must be done with local communities who say the seismic survey will impact their livelihoods. The Supreme…

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Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is continuing with his court battles to scrap the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP) programme. In June 2023, the Pretoria High Court ruled that the termination of the ZEP had been unlawful and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Appeal then dismissed his appeal on the grounds that it had no prospects of success, but now the Minister has turned to the Constitutional Court, essentially on the same grounds, asking that it adjudicate over the issue. In the application lodged in the apex court, Home Affairs director-general Livhuwani Tommy Makhode, who is the second applicant after the…

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A Judicial Conduct Tribunal is hearing a complaint against Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi in Johannesburg. The judge failed to deliver 21 judgments timeously. Retired Judge Chris Jafta is chairing the tribunal. On Monday he instructed the public to leave the hearing and said it would take place in camera. Judge Jafta said this was the default position for tribunals. Judge Mngqibisa-Thusi’s legal team was concerned that if the hearing was held in public it would compromise the testimony of witnesses in her defence who are expected to talk about the judge’s personal problems. The Judicial Conduct Tribunal inquiry into the possible…

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By Tania Broughton A woman and three organisations took Home Affairs to court for blocking Identity Documents without following a just administrative process. About 700,000 IDs were blocked as at September 2023, meaning people with these IDs could not obtain passports, could not vote, access health care, education or open bank accounts. Their children, who were linked to the IDs, suffered similarly. This week the Pretoria High Court found that Home Affairs has been acting unconstitutionally. The judge gave the department 12 months to remedy the situation. The blocking of IDs by the Department of Home Affairs, without notice, timeous investigation…

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