Daan's Snippets

Gentle Reader, what may be taken from a SWMBO accompanied trip to Montenegro is:

  • Be wary of eating salads in Rome – Q: do they steam-clean aeroplanes?
  • The Lord does not wear shorts (unless he is Catholic – except in Rome). The Montenegrin nublies do and, thanks to the Slavs, they are tall, lean, smoking hot and ugly. 
  • No one steals from a tourist. I “lost” a laptop and, prompted by my insurer, sought a CR number: I arrived at 17:30 and by 20:00 an inspection of the crime scene with a skywards looking policeman (really, but wait for it), a painfully correct statement (the judges are said to be particular), an outside sworn translator, an appointment with the prosecutor at 21:00 and a judge at 21:30 had been laid on. The inspector, a pub brawler, was taken to task by the prosecutor, a 55 year old who would make any man extremely happy with his wife, for not understanding that no one steals from a tourist. They are always caught – the entire centre of Nikšić is under permanent video surveillance. I, the squirming cause of all this unhappiness, had been reunited with my laptop an hour earlier, but had to sit this out. Extremely discomfiting. The system works – for a fricking laptop: the Lord preserve you if you were to actually kill a tourist!
  • The locals are poor, as they have been for centuries. It is a hard country, one of a panopoly of unviable, mutually antagonistic states, born of the notion of happy national self determination foisted upon them by politicians. These are the pale and fractured remains of erstwhile empires where religion brought cohesion rather than being a Roman or a Moor. (Governance under non-christian rule was kinder to the populace than that of the catholics) They have similar issues to ours: The peasant’s insatiable desire for land, reproductive rates and the fragmentation of landholdings has led to a situation where few landholdings can support a family to first world standards. The peasant’s political triumph, like here, led to his economic ruin.

Nevertheless, rich in history in a muddled kind of way, spectacular, very affordable (except for the tourist traps) and, if you like hiking, somewhere to go to.

Daan

Economics

Reform: Pali Lehola, our previous statistician-general, adressing economic and financial planning by our state, referred to our lack of forward-planning which has apparently been abandoned by our state. He speaks of our knowledge asymmetry: but we all know this? 

In the same vein, the governor of the SARB, has now also weighed in on the subject. 

The reason for our technical paucity is the deployment of politicians and not technicians.

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Our economic indicators remain so so for the reasons valid today and last year. Bleak times remain. The 0ECD has slashed our expected growth percent to 0.5% this year. 

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One goes bankrupt slowly and then suddenly: Zimbabwe is at the suddenly: same old BS, another suddenly rich (only morally bankrupt) revolutionary hero leads the nation. A now politician and not a technician; ‘nuff said.

Business

A 40-country survey by the OECD ranks us fifth in countries with the longest workweeks; we stand at a 42.9 hours.

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You might recall that I had written on a cure for trees infected with the polyphagus shothole borer: I had been told by a three-farming boss that this meant nothing for the industry. The company that plugs the cure is now said to be treating 200 trees a month; yay! You may save the tree in your backyard at a substantial cost but the treatment is simply not viable on a larger scale.

https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/pilot-solution-could-be-silver-bullet-to-beetle-threat-2019-09-27

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An aside, this week, reported that the Public Works Academy has been discontinued. The minister holds that this will not negatively impact technical capacity building. Really?

Whilst on the subject of training/education: Wits now teaches innovation; really! It has launched a Masters course in innovation studies…

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Some time ago we dealt with the subject of cannabis use at home and subsequent testing for that substance at work. It might be worth revisiting the subject: https://www.webberwentzel.com/News/Pages/what-the-decriminalisation-of-cannabis-means-for-the-workplace.aspx

Property

A reversionary right in a deed of sale, to the effect that, on subdivisional approval being obtained, a portion of the land sold would be transferred back, is a personal right and not a real right. If the property subject to such a right is transferred further, the holder of that right cannot bind the new owner. This case involved our Sakabula golf club and I will provide you with the judgement on request.

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Many contracts for the sale of land are made subject to the successful sale of the purchaser’s property. Be wary. Sale is not equal to sale and transfer. Take a look. http://www1.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAFSHC/2019/143.html

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Interestingly, BetterBond believes that we are on the cusp of an upswing in the property market: read for yourself. https://www.property360.co.za/news/upswing-nearly-in-sight-for-property-market-33082353

Practice

The RAF’s financial condition continues to deteriorate (yawn). Its liabilities have increased by 27% to R 262bn since last year. A “challenge” I have no doubt brought about by primarily lawyers.

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It is increasingly becoming difficult to find a berth in a university for several reasons, be it a race, performance, whatever. Varsity College takes anybody as long as you pay. These guys just have not been in business long enough to gauge the quality of their LLB but, I suspect that it certainly cannot be worse than some of our bottom-end universities?

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A note in Engineering News deals with the maturation of our business rescue system. Worth a quick look: https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/south-africas-business-rescue-system-slowly-maturing-says-fasken-partner-2019-09-27

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I hold an SCA judgement (Lewarne v Fochem) which was not reported on and which says essentially that the Labour Court and civil courts have concurrent jurisdiction in labour matters pertaining to an employment contract. Ask me for a copy.

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If a mortgage bond is cancelled and the bank seeks to hold a surety liable for the shortfall on the bond debt; what is the prescription period: 30 or 3 years? 30; take a look. http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZASCA/2019/108.html

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BakerMcKenzie published a note on the proposed contents of a settlement contract: https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/insight/publications/2019/09/important-clauses-to-include

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My understanding of the intricacies of labour law is, well, laboured, but in the dim recesses of my mind I seem to recall that an employer is not vicariously liable if an employee goes on a (non-sanctioned) frolic of his own. A French employee died as a result of what was termed an extramarital relationship with a perfect stranger. The response was that such activity was normal like taking a shower or a meal. The claimant carried the day – only in Paris!

Quotables

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Dr Seuss

Comment

In my note at the head of this newsletter I touched on nationalism. Does mankind’s future lie in a reversion to nationalism or does our future lie in levels of allegiance of which a global allegiance to a cause is one? You might take a look: https://www.ted.com/talks/yuval_noah_harari_nationalism_vs_globalism_the_new_political_divide

The SAHRC has called on us to unite in our diversity: sounds good, but one wonders if our politicians can afford us to do so. To return to Montenegro: why does a peasant want democracy? I suspect that one of the reasons is that, in South Africa, the average voter expected a say in how much of the cake gets to go around (i.e. a financial betterment): the question then to be asked of us is whether a social pension scheme is enough sharing to satisfy the expectations created by democracy?

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Boris Johnson has been associated with a blonde pole dancer, who, it must be said, wears Union Jacks! A true patriot. These days, so what: of interest despite all the fun and games is that Britain’s threadbare constitutional framework makes it particularly vulnerable to the manipulation of a strong leader. Britain’s constitution is based on what has been referred to as the good chap’s theory of government which presumes that all politicians will exercise a high degree of self restraint, respecting the unwritten rules of the constitution. Boris might well be the man who changes all this.

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A sense of entitlement? It was said this week that students are in the care of the state which correspondingly has an obligation to meet their right to food. Really? When I was young (said in a quavering voice) if you could not afford to eat, you certainly did not go to university. (and yes, I understand the motivation that drives those who engage in such desperate tactics)

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Heritage Day: can one be a South African without being African? Frankly, the mere fact that one asks such a question, is racist.

Lighten up

Rodney Dangerfield on children:

  • “I tell ya, when I was a kid I got no respect. My parents got divorced. They had a custody fight over me. No one showed up.”
  • “I told my doctor I want to get a vasectomy. He said with a face like mine, I don’t need one.”
  • “I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”
  • “My mother had morning sickness after I was born.”
  • My wife is different. I said to her: “Our children are spoilt.” She said: “All children smell that way.”

Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys
LinkedIn Profile

1 COMMENT

  1. Daan, it is not correct to say that there are not special entry criteria to register for the IIE’s LLB degree at IIE Varsity College. Beyond the legislated requirements there are elevated institutional requirements for entry.

    Also, on the question of quality graduates, don’t forget that we have been teaching LLB programmes for over 20 years. First UNISA and then UFS! We have thousands of alumni in the profession. The IIE LLB degree was accredited by CHE and we have a unitary process in SA, meaning that required standards are the same for all HE institutions. Thus, on paper too, the design of the qual is as good at the top Universities in SA. We are very confident that our LLB graduates will be as well or better prepared for the profession, than any other University in the country.

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