This note seeks to add to issues raised in the erudite article written by Harry Barker ('Language in the courts' 1998 (Oct) DR 62) in which he makes an impassioned plea to revisit the question of language, as applied and practised in our courts. His plea, however, is tantamount to a call to recognise English as the sole language to be applied in our courts. What follows is an attempt to take the issue further by making an unequivocal call, not just for the recognition of English, but for its acceptance as well, as the sole language for the juridical cosmos (legal world) in South Africa.
The Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (the Act) represents a great step forward in the fight for the rights of occupiers of land in general and tenants in particular. The common law was cruel to occupiers and tenants who faced eviction. Now the Act provides for 'just and equitable' circumstances to be taken into account before the eviction of an unlawful occupier is ordered. The Act repeatedly emphasises fairness to the unlawful occupier. Even though it does not mention tenants expressly, I submit that tenants who have had their leases terminated in terms of the Act, and who remain in occupation, would fall within the definition of 'unlawful occupier' in the Act. Owners of land who wish to employ the rei vindicatio to get occupiers off their land are also affected by the Act.
Never has there been a single event in history that has the potential to cause as much litigation as the rollover to the year 2000.* Computer experts and information technology (IT) officers of companies have long known of the Y2K problem from a technical point of view, but now the focus is moving to the business and legal issues involved. The legal issues are thorny and merit serious attention as businesses realise they might not meet the 31 December 1999 deadline. The legal fraternity in South Africa underestimated the importance of and need for sound legal advice on a variety of Y2K matters compared with the US where a Y2K legal audit is just as important as the technical audit.
In my last article 'Building and publishing your Web site' (1999 (May) DR 39) I discussed the steps necessary to build the Web site of Botha & Cohen, a mythical Mpumalanga law firm. You may wish to review the dummy site which I built for the firm at www.mlaw.co.za/botha/ Is that the end of the Internet as far as Botha & Cohen is concerned? Most certainly not. Botha & Cohen needs to get its office properly connected to the Internet so that the firm can harness the energy the Internet will generate for it.
Many practitioners commence practice without knowing what statutory procedures should be followed only to find out later and then having to face disciplinary action, penalties and fines. In this article the statutory requirements are discussed with comments and suggestions to ensure compliance.
An irregularity in criminal court proceedings occurs when the accused person has not been tried according to law and in such situations, unless no prejudice has been suffered by him, the conviction should be quashed. The conviction can be quashed only if the irregularity has resulted in a failure of justice amounting to the conclusion that the accused has not had a fair trial.
Common property consists of all the land included in a scheme, including additional land acquired by the body corporate in terms of s 26 of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986, and improvements on such land which are not included in sections. Because each owner of a section also owns an undivided share in such common property, it follows that each owner should have a voice in decisions affecting the common property. For this reason s 17(1) requires a unanimous resolution to alienate or let common property or parts thereof.