News & Views

News and relevant legal opinion pieces from MP|W and publishing partners.

  • 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 the trustee of a wealthy family trust with lots of assets that you think are really his – can......

  • A recent Labour Court decision 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......

  • “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” (Shakespeare) 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......

  • “Suretyship is the precursor of ruin” (Thales of Miletus, one of the Seven Sages of Ancient Greece)   As the philosopher and mathematician, Thales pointed out two and a half millennia ago, signing surety for another’s debts carries a huge risk. Yet every day directors......

  • “The general rule of our law is that cohabitation does not give rise to special legal consequences, no matter how long the relationship has endured” (From a 2010 High Court judgment and still applicable)   One of the more pervasive myths in South Africa is......

  • For many years now the “Whistleblower’s Act” (actually the Protected Disclosures Act or “PDA”) has been providing protection to employees who report unlawful or improper conduct by their employers or fellow employees. Recent updates to the PDA have extended protection to independent contractors, consultants, agents......

  • “Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” (Comedian George Carlin) We live in stressful times, and as our roads become busier and the pressures of modern life mount, expect more......

  • “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” (Wise old adage) You sign a two year lease for a nice little apartment (or a large family house if you have a spouse, 3 kids and a dog) but after 6 months your employer transfers......

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  • When crowds attempted to illegally settle on tracts of unused, but privately owned property from Sandton to Midrand in March, it brought home the reality that attempted land grabs are likely to continue, and could escalate to illegal settlers on private property or even claiming......

  • With the Northern Hemisphere emerging from a particularly bad flu season, expect South Africa to be hard hit this winter. The H3N2 strain seems to be a particular concern because of its association with pneumonia and other complications. The sick-leave cost to the economy is......

  • “…it cannot be right and proper to reinstate or re-employ a person in a position that was secured by the making of false statements” (Extract from a Labour Appeal Court judgment quoted in the case below) Employees and employers alike should be aware of a......