THIS whole week I’ve been hearing and writing about angry responses from sections of the legal profession to the government’s proposed Legal Practice Bill.
So it was something of a surprise when, on Tuesday, I was approached by organisations representing SA’s community advice offices and the paralegals working with them. They wanted to discuss their submissions to Parliament on the bill – the essence of which is that they are distressed to have been left out of its ambit.
Important news here for lawyers – and attorneys with the right to appear in the higher courts should pay special attention. A new judgment, disguised under a dispute between Liberty Group and two brokers, slices through reams of red tape and could simplify practice.
When Liberty asked for summary judgment against brokers Roychand and Reetha Devi Singh, the two objected to the action on the grounds that the company’s paperwork was faulty: they claimed the documentation was signed by an attorney not legally empowered to do so.
Strange how the supposedly random allocation of cases shapes a judge’s public reputation. I’m thinking here in particular of Judge Mahomed Navsa of the Supreme Court of Appeal, but there are others in a similar position.
After sitting in several high-profile controversial cases and writing the judgment in those cases, Judge Navsa has taken considerable flak over the past few years.
Good bedtime reading for insomniacs, but the rest of us would first have to grab a strong cup of coffee. I’m talking about the Constitutional Court judgment in the Maccsand case that will be remembered for two reasons: for the important question it answered and for the important question it did not answer. The case, decided last week, deals with mining rights and whether a go-ahead from the Minister of Mineral Resources is all that’s required for potential miners to start lawful mining work.
The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act seemed clear to minister Susan Shabangu: companies wanting to mine needed permission from her department only.
Thirst does strange things to people. In the case of Mandla Bushula, it provoked him to chase a mirage, taking legal action with a case in which his chances of winning were virtually zero.
Bushula, who lives in the Kwa-Ngquba locality, Voyizana administrative area, Sterkspruit, had what sounded like a really bad complaint – the supply of running water to his area was completely cut off by the Ukhahlamba district municipality.