Suing an Insolvent Debtor – Can You Recover from his Trust?

Suing an Insolvent Debtor – Can You Recover from his Trust?

Your debtor owes you a fortune, but when his estate is sequestrated there is nothing in his own name. However you find out that he is trustee of a wealthy family trust with lots of assets that you think are really his – can you recover from his trust? The answer is yes, you can, but only in certain circumstances, and only by choosing the right line of attack. A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) case illustrates. A Ponzi scheme, a suicide, and R11m worth of missing cattle A former farmer and cattle dealer committed suicide, leaving debts of…
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Depressed and Dismissed – A Hard Lesson for a Hard Employer

Depressed and Dismissed – A Hard Lesson for a Hard Employer

A recent Labour Court decision in Jansen v Legal Aid South Africa (C678/14) [2018] ZALCCT 17 shows how dangerous it is as an employer, when attempting to dismiss an employee, not to draw a clear distinction between misconduct and incapacity. Disciplined for depression An employee, whose track record had originally been an excellent one, was charged at a disciplinary enquiry with four charges of misconduct – Unauthorised absence from work for 17 working days, Failure to inform his manager of his absences in accordance with company policy, “Gross insolence” in the form of turning his back on his manager when talking…
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Changing Your Surname – Your Choices on Marriage, Divorce and Widowhood

Changing Your Surname – Your Choices on Marriage, Divorce and Widowhood

You cannot lawfully use any surname in South Africa other than the one shown in the National Population Register (NPR), and trying to do so will land you in a lot of hassle and probably in legal trouble as well. So tread carefully when it comes to any event in your life involving a possible name change. Don’t be caught out trying to decide at the altar! As a woman about to get married for example, you have to decide what surname you want to use after the marriage. There are many pros and cons to consider when deciding between…
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How to Escape from a Property Suretyship

How to Escape from a Property Suretyship

As the philosopher and mathematician Thales pointed out two and a half millennia ago, signing surety for another’s debts carries huge risk. Yet every day directors of property holding companies happily sign personal suretyships for their company’s (usually substantial) debts. The problem is that it all seems so safe in the beginning. You need a bank loan to buy or develop a property, you’ve done your homework and the deal is a good, sensible one. It’s only when things go wrong down the line that your signature on that suretyship document comes back to haunt you, and by then it’s…
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RAF claims: Time for a more purposive approach to Prescription

RAF claims: Time for a more purposive approach to Prescription

The Road Accident Fund Act 56 of 1996 (“the RAF Act”) has been described as ‘social legislation’. Crucially, the Act’s fundamental objective is to provide protection to a wronged party who has suffered loss through the negligence or unlawful act on the part of a driver or owner of a vehicle. Prescription is a rule of law that is designed to bring finality to disputes. Consequently, prescription shuts the door on the claimant effectively disabling them to issue a claim once the time period has lapsed. In terms of the RAF Act, the period of prescription of a claimant’s claim…
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