Daan's Snippets

A short article, written by Judge Cameron, deals with our prisons system: he says that instead of the retributive approach under the previous regime, this country embraced a restorative approach to offenders and their punishment. This demanded prison conditions that respected human dignity and so on. The difficulty is that our correctional centres are overcrowded owing to a change in our criminal laws which led to harsher punishments and more crimes, resulting in more custodial time. Since 1995, the inmates in our correctional centres have increased by 39%. About a third of all detainees are awaiting trial. In 1994, only 400 prisoners were serving life sentences. Today nearly 16,000 prisoners are doing such time. He says that the fearful truth is that our correctional centres contribute to rather than ease our crime problem.


If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen: a local prosecutor recused herself from a fraud case of some R500m, citing security reasons and attempts to bribe her. I confess to having scant sympathy: if someone attempts to bribe you then you should prosecute that attempt and, furthermore, if you cannot stand the heat you shouldn’t be prosecuting! On the other hand, the inability of the state to deal with protection of vulnerable persons is such that few would envy her job.


A notary should seal his documents, old style always involves a crimp and often lately, simply a stamp. A stamp can be scanned, a crimp not. One wonders whether notarial crimp seals will be carried into the future.

The NPA is reportedly now dealing with 64 municipal cases referred to it by the SIU; we wait with bated breath.


Delict in school: a number of pupil deaths in schools has had the yellow press baying for blood: an article by Scott, UNISA, on the underlying theory, may be instructive (in Afrikaans): https://www.litnet.co.za/vonnisbespreking-boelie-kry-op-sy-baadjie-moes-die-skool-gered-het/


A recent SCA decision attracted my attention: can one bind a court’s discretion as to the award of costs? Take a look: https://www.justice.gov.za/sca/judgments/sca_1999/1998_085_intercon.pdf


Partners or lovers? The principles dealt with in the case at hand is not new but is worth noting for those not attuned to this aspect of our law: cohabitation generally has no legal consequences in our law. Yet, such relationships often give rise to claims by the jilted partner for a judgement, declaring the relationship as a common law partnership, in order to claim a share of the other partner’s assets. Take a look: http://www.saflii.org/za/cases/ZAECGHC/2020/12.html (drawn to my attention by STBB).


RAF: practitioners strike back; 42 of our colleagues took on the RAF in the Gauteng High Court on the basis that the service level agreements were amended under duress and that the consequent demand for the return of the files was illegal. Interesting: lawyers under duress? Hungry to hang on is probably more correct. If this interests you, ask me for a copy of the papers.


When a major breach of contract occurs, the aggrieved party must elect to cancel or claim performance. Can one repent of one’s choice? It appears so: I hold an article entitled Remedies, repentance and the doctrine of election in South African contract law by Prof Glover (Rhodes). Ask me for a copy.


Pam Golding is in the FICA over the sale of former Mozambican president Guebuza’s property. I would be surprised if this charge were to stick.


The publication by Privateproperty of an article entitled How the SPLUMA ACT will affect sellers, engendered a furore: the writer said that one would need to lodge, as part of the Deeds Office documentation, a SPLUMA certificate, stating that building plans for the construction, on the erf being sold, is lodged with the local authority, are accurate and approved, and that the zoning of the property is correct.


On enquiry, it appeared that some municipalities have this written to their bylaws but that this is not currently the case everywhere. West says that it is averred that this will be applied nationally as from October.


Property24 has been accused of subscription price increases which exceeds the inflation rate substantially. The justification for such increases is a bigger spent on technical staff and marketing. This begs the question whether the subscriber should pay for the expansion costs of a service provider? I confess to not being convinced: https://propertyprofessional.co.za/2018/03/29/property24-defends-price-increases/


SA is reportedly delivering between ten- and thirteen thousand RDP housing units per month.


The Competition Appeal Court ruled against a bunch of banks (23, local ones are Investec and Absa) recently. Irrespective of the judgement, the charge levied against the banks is that they colluded on the forex trading in the Rand/dollar sphere: a very worrying development, if true.



An SOE collision: Eskom cut power to Metrorail on Thursday over an unpaid electricity bill. Interesting; squabbles amongst siblings, both are broke.


Should you retire? I don’t believe so. If this cannot be avoided, you should stay busy: https://ideas.ted.com/what-is-the-ideal-age-to-retire-never-according-to-a-neuroscientist

A report holds that our government intends to increase the content of locally manufactured goods to 60% across all industries. This is going to be interesting.


Casting around for money: our Ministry of Health has announced that the infrastructure backlog in refurbishment of health facilities in the country to enable NHI would benefit from private sector involvement and presents a great opportunity… Why would one want to partner a broke socialist government?


Aside from our politically inspired economic woes, the drought affecting multiple provinces has now been declared a national disaster. This activates powers for the executive to make regulations, provide relief and access emergency funds. This Agriculture contracted 7.6% in the last quarter but is forecast to bounce back. 


Our economic/political chickens have come home to roost. Past profligacy, a unionised teaching profession and the lack of will has resulted in children from the poorest schools comparing badly against those from schools where parents can mobilise funds to keep classes small – those that Unionists send their children to. A bitter harvest awaits us: https://select.timeslive.co.za/ideas/2020-03-05-pipe-dreams-titos-hubbly-bubbly-budget-for-education/

To emphasise the point made by Prof Jansen, it was announced last night that in Gauteng, 21,000 grade 1 pupils failed last year.


Taxes in Zimbabwe are totally irrelevant to most of us: if this interests you, take a look: https://www.mondaq.com/Article/885576 


Women will never be as successful as men because they have no wives to advise them.

Dick Van Dyke


War is no strife To the dark house and the detested wife.

William Shakespeare


What’s in a name: CPUT is the acronym for the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. A truly bad choice…


Our Minister of Health is quite positive that we will be able to contain the Corona virus spread: the local rag ran a note on the chaos that resulted when a person who tried to report and have tested a suspected Corona virus victim at Greys Hospital. If the report is even vaguely correct – and experience says that it probably is – then especially the poor are going to have a seriously hard time if this virus becomes widespread.


Vandalism has resulted in R1.4bn to be spent in rebuilding the Main Cape Town Central train line: this includes the construction of a 4 m high concrete barrier and security cameras. We are destroying ourselves.

Lighten up

Die probleem van die lewe is, teen die tyd dat jy vroue soos ‘n boek kan lees het jou biblioteekkaart verval. 



Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.


Contributed by:
Daan Steenkamp Attorneys
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