Monthly Archives: February 2016

Sportbeserings: Wie is aanspreeklik?

A4_bKontak sporte gee dikwels daartoe aanleiding dat die spelers daarvan ernstig beseer word. Kan iemand aanspreeklik gehou word vir hierdie beserings, of neem jy, as deelnemer, inherent die risiko wanneer jy aan hierdie sportsoorte deelneem. Die regspraak het egter belangrike beginsels is vasgestel met verwysing na die bogenoemde kwessie. Eerstens is dit belangrik om deeglik bewus te wees van die betrokke sportsoort se reëls, wat toelaatbaar is, al dan nie, alvorens jy aan die sportsoort deelneem.

Wanneer jy aan ʼn sport deelneem, stem jy in tot die moontlikheid van beserings? In die 2012-Appèlhofsaak van Hattingh v Roux, is hierdie stelling oorweeg. In hierdie saak het die appellant die respondent ernstig beseer deur gebruik te maak van ʼn skrum tegniek, die jack-knife.

Die Appèlhofregter, Plasket, het ten gunste van die respondent beslis. In die uitspraak is daar beslis dat die appellant opsetlik die respondent beseer het en dat sy aksies as onregmatig beskou moet word. Die regsbeginsel van Volenti Non Fit Iniuria, of die toestemming tot potensiële skade, sou onder normale omstandighede ʼn persoon beskerm wat iemand in ʼn sportwedstryd beseer, maar die regsbeginsel (Volenti Non Fit Iniuria) geld slegs waar die besering plaasvind onder normale omstandighede gedurende ʼn wedstryd.

Regter Plasket het gesê dat: “Eerstens was die jack-knife beweging wat deur Alex uitgevoer is in teenstelling met die reëls van die wedstryd. Verder was die beweging ook in teenstelling met die gees en die konvensies van die sport. Tweedens was die beweging ook vooruitbeplan, en was dit dus doelbewus uitgevoer. Derdens, alhoewel een van die doelwitte was om veld te wen met die skrum, was ʼn definitiewe oorweging ook om die opposisie te intimideer, spesifiek Ryan. Dit was ook uiters gevaarlik.”[1]

Plasket AJ gaan verder:

“aangesien hierdie optrede aanleiding gegee het tot so ʼn ernstige oortreding van die reëls, kan dit nie as die norm beskou word vir ʼn gewone rugby wedstryd nie, en is dit ongelooflik gevaarlik. It would ‘not have constituted conduct which rugby players would accept as part and parcel of the normal risks.”[2]

Dit blyk duidelik vanuit hierdie uitspraak dat die hoofkwessie om te oorweeg wanneer daar geëvalueer word of ʼn persoon aanspreeklik gehou kan word ʼn ernstige besering in ʼn kontaksport, die vraag is of die besering plaasgevind het in die normale gang van die wedstryd.

Appelregter Brand, het in In alternatiewe uitspraak die volgende stelling gemaak:

“I believe that conduct which constitutes a flagrant contravention of the rules of rugby and which is aimed at causing serious injury or which is accompanied by full awareness that serious injury may ensue, will be regarded as wrongful and hence attract legal liability for the resulting harm”.[3]

Daar word gestel dat waar ʼn aksie van so aard is dat dit ʼn blatante oortreding van die reëls van die spel is, die speler homself met die nagevolge van die oortreding konsolideer en opsetlik voortgaan met die handeling, behoort die speler aanspreeklik gehou te word vir sy aksies. Dit is belangrik dat die betekenis van hierdie stelling nie is dat enige besering wat voortspruit uit die oortreding van ʼn reël met regsgevolge gepaard moet gaan nie, maar slegs gevalle wat so ernstig en blatant is, dat dit wel nodig is.

Dit sou ʼn onnodige las plaas op ʼn speler om nie enige reël te verbreek nie, uit die vrees dat ʼn speler in die ander span beseer kan raak en dat regsgevolge daaruit mag spruit. Dink jou in dat ʼn rugbyspeler deliktueer aanspreeklik gehou word vir die feit dat hy van sy voete af gegaan het by ʼn losgemaal, ʼn algemene fout in rugby. Die beredenering agter die Roux-uitspraak, is bloot dat waar ʼn speler opsetlik en blatant die reëls van die spel verbreek en weet dat die oortreding ernstige beserings kan veroorsaak, kan die speler aanspreeklik gehou word.

Daar is dus geen rede om die manier waarop daar ʼn aan ʼn sport deelgeneem word, aan te pas bloot uit die vrees van regsgevolge nie. Wees egter bewus van die feit dat kwaadwillige aksies op die sportveld ernstige gevolge mag hê

Bibliografie

Artikels

Labuschagne JMT “Straf- en Delikregtelike Aanspreeklikheid vir Sportbeserings” Stell LR 1998 1 72

Regspraak

Roux v Hattingh 2012 (6) SA 428 (SCA)

[1] Roux v Hattingh 2012 (6) SA 428 (SCA) at Par27

[2] Roux v Hattingh 2012 (6) SA 428 (SCA) at Par28

[3] Labuschagne JMT “Straf- en Delikregtelike Aanspreeklikheid vir Sportbeserings” Stell LR 1998 1 72 78

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

The Credit agreement

A3_bIf you default on a credit agreement and action is taken against you by the credit provider, you still have time, according to Section 129(3)(b) read with 129(3)(a) and S129(4) of the National Credit Act (“NCA”)[1] as well as the case of Firstrand Bank Limited v Nomsa Nkata[2] to reinstate the credit agreement until the goods have been sold in execution.

Prior to the National Credit Act coming into force, the position regarding the right of a consumer to reinstate a credit agreement was determined by the principle of redemption in common law. According to this principle, a consumer would be able to reinstate the credit agreement by paying the credit provider the full amount of the debt, together with ‘default charges’ and reasonable costs of enforcing the agreement. According to the National Credit Act, ownership and possession of an item or premises can be redeemed by paying only the amount overdue at that date, together with charges and costs.

The issue, however, is at which point it becomes too late to pay the amount overdue in the execution process. This issue was addressed in the recent case of FirstRand Bank Limited v Nomsa Nkata.[3] Section 129(3) and (4) of the NCA states the following:

“(3) Subject to subsection (4), a consumer may –

(a)       at any time before the credit provider has cancelled the agreement re-instate a credit agreement that is in default by paying to the credit provider all amounts that are overdue, together with the credit provider’s permitted default charges and reasonable costs of enforcing the agreement up to the time of reinstatement; and –

(b)       after complying with paragraph (a), may resume possession of any property that had been repossessed by the credit provider pursuant to an attachment order.

            (4)       A consumer may not reinstate a credit agreement after –

                        (a)       The sale of any property pursuant to –

                                    (i)        an attachment order; or

                                    (ii)       surrender of property in terms of section 127;

                        (b) The execution of any other court order enforcing that agreement; or

                        (c) The termination thereof in accordance with section 123.”

The Supreme Court of Appeal found in the FirstRand Bank Limited case that in terms of both the common law as well as the NCA, “the Rubicon has been, and remains the sale in execution.” This means that at any point up until the time of the sale in execution, the consumer can put a halt to the execution proceedings and reinstate the agreement by paying the amount overdue, together with charges and costs.

The reason that the above provision was placed in the NCA was to make provision for the fact that many consumers borrow money over an extended period in order to finance the acquisition of large purchases such as a home or a motor vehicle. It was also noted in the above judgment that less affluent citizens may make use of extended credit to purchase household items and appliances. Therefore the NCA assists consumers in providing them with the option of paying the overdue amount rather than having to pay the entire amount of the debt.

The Court established in the FirstRand Bank Limited case that Section 129(4) (b) can only be used before the sale has taken place and not thereafter. Once the sale has taken place the credit agreement cannot be re-instated between the consumer and the credit provider. Should you find yourself in the temporary position of not being able to pay the monthly instalments of your credit agreement but are able to pay those instalments at a later stage, and to not want to cancel the credit agreement, then it is imperative that you pay the money which is overdue to the Credit Provider prior to any sale in execution as you will not be able to reinstate the agreement thereafter.

Bibliography

  • National Credit Act, 34 of 2005
  • Firstrand Bank Limited v Nomsa Nkata, (213/14) [2015] ZASCA 44 (26 March 2015)

[1] 34 of 2005

[2] (213/14) [2015] ZASCA 44(26 March 2015)

[3] (213/14) [2015] ZASCA 44(26 March 2015)

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Be acquainted with the law relating to labelling and advertising

A2_bWhat is in a label or advert?

Labelling is the transmission of information via letters, figures and artistic characters. Advertising goes a step further as it engages in visual and/or oral creations to endorse or to promote the sale of goods or services through various mediums.

Why is this definitional component of marketing and consumer / business outreach important?
Our laws, in an attempt to protect us against unfair labelling and advertising, require factual and honest labelling and advertising. This principle, which requires honesty in advertising, calls for factual claims and disallows misleading claims, is encoded in the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Code of Conduct. The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (CPA) reinforces this requirement of disclosure of all relevant information and further requires that such disclosure must be in plain language. 

Preventing or minimising exposure to legal claims for unfair labelling and advertising

  • Have a proper internal advertising standards protocol. This protocol should set out the legal guidelines for all advertisements in whatever format or media, whether they are above the line or below the line, or for public relations releases;
  • Ensure that marketing panels and public relations teams are correctly trained on this protocol. Once trained, continue to ensure compliance as they are generally the teams that are involved in the crafting or supporting of advertisements or releases. At the same time make sure your external advertising and public relations agency is fully compliant and conscious of the laws relating to your specific market;
  • Take care to ensure that all advertisements, public relations releases and labels are reviewed by internal counsel and by external counsel before release or publication.

Adherence to the above guidelines will:

  • ensure factual and legal review and minimise potential CPA claims, as well as minimise ASA review and potential penalties;
  • counter trademark infringement and identify any unauthorised use;
  • prevent false marking if an advert or product affixes the word “patent” to an unpatentable item;
  • prevent both unfair comparative labelling and advertising that promotes your product as superior to your competitors’ without a factual and objective basis.

We recommend that an advertising register be maintained. The register will ensure that a sense of control and accountability is reached, as all releases are documented in the register. By including a provision that all material be sent for legal review to confirm whether they have been reviewed or not, no unacceptable items will slip through.

Knowing the law relating to labelling and advertising in your field could save you endless headaches, unnecessary litigation, and money.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Bullies beware

A1_bSipho Swart is continually being called gay and other related names by a group of people at the local taxi rank. He was recently pushed to the floor by one of these members of the group. Roelien van der Merwe was distraught when she found out there is a website containing terrible comments about her. It was talking about her weight and said things along the lines that she was dirty. The website invited others to become actively involved with bashing her.

For a long time, victims of harassment (harassment includes abusive electronic communication, stalking and bullying), have battled with behaviour that violated their rights but that was not considered criminal and therefore could not be punished by law.

The long awaited Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011 came into operation on 27 April 2013. Under the Act harassment is not limited to physical and verbal abuse. People who receive threats or unwanted attention via social media and text messages may also apply for a protection order.

Who is protected?

The Act makes it possible for anyone who feels harassed to approach the court without a legal representative and apply for a protection order.

A child under the age of 18, without the assistance of his/her parents, or a person on behalf of a child, may apply for a protection order.

If a person is not able to apply for a protection order for himself, another person who has a real interest in stopping the harassment can apply for a protection order on the harassed person’s behalf.

What protection is offered?

The Act allows for a special process by which an initial court order is made without the immediate knowledge of the person who is harassing the complainant. The order is based on the complainant’s side of the matter only. The Court will immediately grant the order where it is satisfied that there is prima facie evidence that the complainant is being or may be harassed and that harm is or may be suffered if the protection order isn’t granted immediately.

A future date is then arranged for the person against whom the protection order is sought to oppose the interim protection order being made a final order of court.

In addition, a protection order can be tailored to the needs of the complainant in his/her specific situation. This means that the court has the power to prohibit a person from engaging in harassment or committing any act specified in the protection order.

A warrant of arrest may be issued at the same time that the protection order is granted. If the person contravenes the protection order by continuing to harass the complainant, that person may be arrested immediately.

Failure to comply with the final protection order is a criminal offence and the transgressor may be liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

How do I apply for a protection order?

The complainant must apply for a protection order by completing an application form at any magistrate’s court where he/she lives or works or any magistrate’s court where the instigator of the harassment lives or works.

The complainant is required to set out the reasons why a protection from harassment order is sought and to provide detailed descriptions of all incidents of harassment he/she has experienced.

The complainant is also able to request that the specific acts committed by the person causing the harassment be listed in the protection order, as well as to request the court to impose any additional conditions necessary to protect the complainant and provide for his/her safety and well-being.

In order to protect the complainant, the physical home or work address of the complainant will be omitted from the protection order provided to the perpetrator.

Bullies will now think twice before sending sexually offensive and other abusive material, as the long arm of the law will be effective in dealing with those who hide behind anonymity.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)