By Duncan Wild 12 April 2014
This matter pertains to the validity of section 44 of the Land Use and Planning Ordinance (“LUPO“) in so far as it allows the provincial government of the Western Cape, through the applicant, the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Western Cape (“Minister“), to hear appeals from the decisions municipalities on certain land use planning decisions. The key question in the matter is the constitutional inter-relationship between the provincial and municipal spheres of government and their powers in relation to land use planning. The potential importance of the Constitutional Court’s decision in this matter lies in the fact that in the relationship between provincial and municipal power.
The Constitutional Court, in an unanimous decision authored by Cameron J, confirmed the High Court’s finding of invalidity of section 44, however, but not in its entirety. We set out the background to the matter and the High Court’s decision below.
By Duncan Wild on 12 April 2014
In this case certain sections of the Pounds Ordinance, no 18 of 1938 (“the Ordinance“) which deals with the impoundment of livestock are challenged on various grounds, including its violation of the rights to equality, against the arbitration deprivation of property, to just administrative action and to the right of access to courts.
The Ordinance provides for the establishment of municipal pounds and the appointment of poundmasters. It provides that stray animals found on private property may be sent by the owner of that property to a pound, and for the impoundment of unattended animals found in public places.
The High Court found the Ordinance to be invalid, and the decision went for confirmation to the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court, however, in a unanimous decision authored by Dambuza AJ, found that the as the Ordinance did not amount to a “provincial act”, the High Court’s finding of invalidity did not require confirmation by the Constitutional Court to be effective. In the Eastern Cape then, the High Court’s order of invalidity stands, but not in the Western Cape and Northern Cape, the Constitutional Court however ordered that its decision be delivered to the Premier’s of the Western Cape and Northern Cape.
||Lower Court Judgments
|| Labour Court Johannesburg, 3 February 2011
Supreme Court of Appeal, 24 May 2013
|19 Nov. 2013
||10 Apr. 2014
|| Zondo J
By Greg Palmer and Duncan Wild on 12 April 2014
This case concerns an appeal by the National Union of Public Service & Allied Workers Union (“NUPSAWU“) against the decision of the Labour Court in terms of which the dismissal of ten employees of the National Lotteries Board (“NLB“) was found to be procedurally and substantively fair. Reinstatement of the employees was sought by NUPSAWU. The Constitutional Court, in a majority decision by Zondo J, overturned the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal and ordered that the employees be re-instated
By Duncan Wild on 23 March 2014
The primary question in this case is whether a third party can bring a claim against the party to a contract (where the claimant is not a party to the contract) as a result of loss suffered by the third party caused by the intentional repudiation of the contract. Continue reading
By Duncan Wild and Greg Palmer on 23 March 2014
This case involves a constitutional challenge to certain sections of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 21 of 1998 (“POCA“). Some of the sections are predicated on the definitions (also challenged) in POCA of “pattern of racketeering activity” and “enterprise” and which the applicants contend are unconstitutional, invalid and void for vagueness. Chapter 2 of POCA is also challenged on the basis that it operates retrospectively in violation of section 35(3)(1) of the Constitution and the Rule of Law, and section 2(2) of POCA is said to violate the fair trial rights of an accused.
The Constitutional Court, in an unanimous judgment authored by Justice Madlanga, and concurred in by Moseneke ACJ, Skweyia ADCJ, Cameron J, Dambuza AJ, Froneman J, Jafta J, Mhlantla AJ, Nkabinde J and Zondo J, dismissed these challenges finding that the impugned sections of POCA were defensible.
By Duncan Wild on 23 March 2014
Imvula Quality Protection (Pty) Ltd (“iMvula“) was hired to provide security guards to guard the home of Lincio Loureiro (“Loureiro“) and his family. In January 2009, an armed robbery occurred at the house after a man pretending to be a police was allowed entry to the house by a guard employed by Imvula.
The Constitutional Court found that iMvula had breached its contractual duty, owed to Loureiro, not to allow access to the premises to any person without authorisation. In addition, that iMvula, as a security company, owed a duty to prevent harm, and in addition, the guard on duty had breached that duty by negligently failing to take the necessary precautions in allowing the disguised robber access. Continue reading
||Lower Court Judgments
||Western Cape Division of the High Court,
||21 Jun. 2012
||27 Feb. 2014
|| Cameron J
By Duncan Wild on 16 March 2014
The case came before the Constitutional Court as an application for the confirmation of a an order by the Western Cape High Court which had found section of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 (“EAAA“) and the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001 (“FICA“) to be constitutionally invalid. The sections, 32A of the EAAA and 45B of FICA afforded search and seizure powers to regulatory bodies.
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (“the Board“) regulates compliance with EAAA and was a supervisory body responsible for enforcing FICA compliance. The Board suspected that the respondent, Auction Alliance (Pty) Ltd (“Auction Alliance“) had contravened both the EAAA and FICA and so attempted to conduct a search of Auction Alliance’s premises without a warrant under the challenged sections. Auction Alliance refused to allow the inspectors from the board access, and instead brought this application, seeking to to prevent the Board from conducting the warrantless search, and to declare the relevant provisions invalid. It was agreed that in the interim the documents sought by the Board would be kept in the possession of KPMG pending the resolution of the litigation. The Board also brought a counter-application seeking that the High Court issue a search warrant allowing a search of Auction Alliance’s premises. Continue reading