The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning of the Western Cape v Lagoon Bay Lifestyle Estate (PTY) LTD and Others

Case No. Lower Court Judgments Hearing Date Judgment Date Majority Author  Vote
CCT 41/13 Western Cape High Court, 31 Aug. 2011
Supreme Court of Appeal, 15 Mar. 2013
20 Aug. 2013 20 Nov. 2013 Mhlantla AJ Unanimous

By Michael Dafel and Duncan Wild 

This matter pertains to the validity of a decision by the Western Cape provincial government to refuse a proposed development.  Lying at the heart of the matter is the constitutional inter-relationship between the provincial and municipal spheres of government and their powers to rezone and subdivide land.  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 in deciding aspects of the same land development.

The Constitutional Court, in an unanimous decision authored by Acting-Justice Mhltantla, did not decide the issue of which level of government the Constitution gave the power to rezone or subdivide land, but did hold that under the applicable legislation the municipality was the competent authority to make the decision on subdivision, and the Provincial Minister the competent authority to decide on the rezoning application. Continue reading

Patrick Lorenz Martin Gaertner and Others v The Minister of Finance and Others

Case No. Lower Court Judgments Hearing Date Judgment Date Majority Author  Vote
CCT 56/13 Western Cape High Court, 8 Apr. 2013 12 Sep. 2013 14 Nov. 2013 Madlanga J. Unanimous

This case involves a challenge to the sections of the Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964 (“the Customs Act“) which empowers South African Revenue Service (“SARS“) officials to conduct certain searches without the need for a warrant.  

The Constitutional Court, a judgment authored by Madlanga J, in which the Mogoeng CJ, Moseneke DCJ, Cameron J, Froneman J, Jafta J, Mhlantla AJ, Nkabinde J, Skweyiya J, Van der Westhuizen J and Zondo J concurred, found the provisions in question to be overbroad in that SARS officials were “given far-reaching powers (breaking in and breaking floors) that may be exercised anywhere, at whatever time and in relation to whomsoever, with no need for the existence of a reasonable suspicion, irrespective of the type of search”. This constituted an unjustifiable limitation of the right to privacy on so the sections were struck down.  The Constitutional Court suspended the declaration of invalidity for a period of six months to allow Parliament to rectify the defect, and provided that in the interim requires SARS to obtain a warrant from a Magistrate or Judge before conducting searches of private residences. Continue reading

Botha and Another v Rich NO and Others

Case No.  Lower Court Judgments  Hearing Date
CCT 89/13 Northern Cape High Court, 13 Nov. 2009

Northern Cape High Court (Full Bench), 28 Mar. 2013
20 Nov. 2013

By Duncan Wild

The respondents in the this matter are the trustee’s of the JJW Hendriks Trust (“the Trust“) that owned certain property in De Aar. In November 2003 the Trust sold the property to the first respondent, Lorraine Botha (“Botha“) and the parties entered an agreement in accordance with the Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981 (“the Act“). Of particular relevance, the parties agreed that section 19 of the Act would apply to the agreement, this section provides that the seller my terminate the contract only if: she has notified the purchaser of a breach and called upon the purchaser to rectify the breach in no less than 30 days, and the purchaser has failed to rectify the breach. The agreement stipulated that the purchase price was to be R240,000 and would be paid in installments of R4,000 a month. Continue reading

Member of the Executive Council for Health in the Eastern Cape and Another v Kirland Investments (Pty) Limited t/a Eye & Laser Institute

Case No. Lower Court Judgments Hearing Date Judgment Date Majority Author  Vote
CCT 7/13  Eastern Cape High Court
SCA, 16 May 2013
12 Nov. 2013 25 Mar. 2014 Cameron J  7-3

By Duncan Wild on 28 September 2014

This is an application for leave to appeal against a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA“), handed down on 16 May 2013. The matter involves the application of the maxim of functus officio. In addition, one of the central questions before the Constitutional Court is the extent to which the decision in Oudekraal Estates (Pty) Ltd v City of Cape Town and Others 2004 (6) SA 222 (SCA) applies to the facts of the matter, and whether the principle in Oudekraal needs to be developed or relaxed in certain instances. In particular, the principle that once an administrative decision is made it exists as a fact and has legal effect until it is set aside by a court in proceedings for judicial review.

The majority of the Constitutional Court, in a decision written by Cameron J, dismissed the appeal with costs.  Continue reading

Ngqukumba v Minister of Safety and Security and Others

Case No.  Lower Court Judgments  Hearing Date
 CCT 71/13 Eastern Cape High Court, 20 Oct. 2011
SCA, 31 May 2013
14 Nov. 2013

By Duncan Wild

In this case the appellant’s motor vehicle was seized by the police acting under the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the Criminal Procedure Act“).  After the vehicle was seized the police discovered that it did not comply with the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 (“the National Road Traffic Act“). The High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal found that the vehicle had been seized unlawfully, but that as it would be unlawful for the appellant to be in possession of a vehicle that did not comply with the National Road Traffic Act, the court not order the return of the vehicle, until it complied with the law. The question before the Constitutional Court is whether it is correct, that despite an unlawful seizure of vehicle, the vehicle may not be returned to its owner if it is discovered that possession of the vehicle would be unlawful.  Continue reading

Justices on leave and Acting Justices

During the fourth term Chief Justice Mogoeng and Justice Khampepe are on long leave. Acting Justices Nonkosi Mhlanta (for her third consecutive term as an acting justice) and Nambitha Dambuza (a judge of the Eastern Cape Division) have been appointed. Deputy Chief Justice Moseneke has been appointed as Acting Chief Justice, and Justice Skweyiya as Acting Deputy Chief Justice

Justice Johann van der Westhuizen is on a medical leave of absence for part of the term.

Welcome to the redesigned ConCourtBlog!

Aside

We have made some significant changes to the way the site works, and we hope you like them. Please let us know what you you think on twitter, @concourtblog, or by emailing concourtblog@gmail.com. Here is a brief guide to the new site:

All the recent posts appear on this page. If you want to see the posts for recent hearings, judgments and upcoming hearings use the links on the right hand side of the page. You can also use the tags on each post to see related posts, for example by looking at the judgments written by a certain judge, or that have been appealed from a particular court.

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