Lock-down offences: Clearing your criminal record

The Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 was enacted with the object of managing the severity of disasters, amongst other things. It was under this legislation that the country could be placed under lock-down during the Covid 19 pandemic. Under the same law, lock-down regulations were created with regards to the conduct of all persons in South Africa during that period. Failure to adhere to the regulations had dire consequences, including criminal prosecution and possibly a criminal record. The pandemic has eased, the regulations are no longer enforced and a way out for those who already acquired a criminal record under the lock-down regulations has come.

Claiming back maintenance after negative paternity test: what does the law say?

Peter had been paying child maintenance towards a child who was believed to be his. He has paid the maintenance for 11 years without a maintenance order in place. He just supported the child under the impression that he was the father. After a paternity test, Peter discovered that he is not the biological father of the child and now wants to claim all the child maintenance money back from the mother of the child. Can Peter legally claim back the child maintenance, and if so, who can he claim the child maintenance from?

Labour Law: Understanding the New Earnings Threshold

South African labour law provides for an annual earnings threshold used to establish whether certain protection provided by labour law will apply to an employee or not. Many employees do not know what this earnings threshold actually means and what impact an increase to this earnings threshold will have on them.

Not paying maintenance? Your pension fund may be targeted.

The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 provides that a child’s parents (biological or adoptive) have a duty to financially maintain and support their children. Unfortunately, it often happens that one parent does not do their part and the other parent must then obtain a maintenance order from court under the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998. Even after a court order has been obtained, the other parent may still not pay the maintenance (for example, due to losing their job). A question that is often asked in those situations is whether pension funds can be used to satisfy a child maintenance order when the parent is not making payments. This article will address this question and educate on the rights available to parents faced with this situation.

The right to privacy and access to medical information

Medical practitioners are required to comply with the principle of confidentiality for ethical and legal reasons. Confidentiality is also linked with the right to privacy, which is a protected human right under our Constitution. Patients often approach their trusted health-care providers with the confidence that their personal affairs will be kept private and generally, it is unacceptable and illegal to disclose anyone’s medical information without his/her consent. However, as with many rules in law, there are exceptions that may apply to the general rule. Section 36 of the Constitution can limit certain human rights and may apply when a balance must be struck between two competing rights.

What you need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine Injury Compensation Scheme

In the early months of 2021 and just over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic had started, the South African government secured millions of vaccine doses from several pharmaceutical manufacturers. As part of the terms of the agreement between governments and the manufacturers, governments were required to exempt the manufacturers, at least partly, from liability and potential lawsuits in the case of any severe side effects the vaccination may cause. In South Africa, this led to the establishment of the COVID-19 Vaccine Injury No-Fault Compensation Scheme (“Scheme”).

End of the National State of Disaster: interim measures and new Regulations

On 4 April 2022, the President of South Africa announced the end of the National State of Disaster, which served as a necessary and crucial response to a global health crisis which posed a grave threat to the people of South Africa. The decision was based on numerous factors, most importantly, the confirmation of the low Covid-19 admission rate in public health facilities and the significantly low Covid-19 death toll.

Understanding your right to lay-by goods

​​​​​​​Consumers often find themselves wanting certain goods that they cannot afford at a particular point in time in their lives. Some consumers will often choose to purchase the goods on credit in fear of the specific items running out of stock. However, this is not the only option to secure such desired goods. The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (“CPA”) provides an additional avenue for consumers, by allowing consumers the option to enter into a lay-by agreement with a supplier of goods.

Featured Articles

Think before you say something on social media

Most individuals’ main source of obtaining news and information are through the internet and social media platforms, which speaks to the reliance and reach these platforms have. They have become an extremely powerful tool, at the fingertips of individuals and almost everyone who uses these platforms for creating content, even in a personal capacity.

Understanding the basics of defamation

We often hear the word “defamation” and do not always understand what is meant with it. Generally, defamation relates to some form of negative remark published about someone. Before getting into the details of defamation, it is important to note that defamation can be difficult to prove. Defamation matters tend to turn into lengthy court procedures where courts have to decide whether defamation occurred or not, depending on the specific circumstances of a matter. Not every defamation matter is the same and different scenarios cannot always be compared with each other. Some matters can be easily determined, while others can be difficult. The below information sets out the basic aspects around defamation.  

Women’s Rights in Business

Read this article about women's rights in business, including the right to maternity leave and to not be discriminated against nor be sexually harassed.

Feminism in South Africa and its legal influence

The concept of feminism is often misunderstood and associated with women who bear sentiments of anger towards men. Feminism is also often associated with false stereotypes, such as “Feminists hate men”, “Feminists are angry”, “All feminists are career women and do not support stay-at-home moms” and so on.

family and customary matters

16 Days of Activism and gender-based violence

GBV is one of the biggest problems that South Africa faces and affects women and girls regardless of their age, race and social circumstances. Although GBV can be directed towards both men and women, the majority of victims are women. Generally, GBV is most commonly in the form of physical violence, such as assault. However, it can also be other forms of abuse against women and includes sexual assault, emotional and psychological abuse, financial abuse and so on.

Lobolo: an understanding of the basic principles

Under African customary law, it is custom to follow certain traditions before they can get married, for example, paying lobolo. Lobolo is given by the man to the family of his future wife. This article will shed some light on the basic principles of lobolo.

A hopeful future for the full recognition of Muslim marriages in South Africa

Since the commencement of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (“Constitution”), marriages concluded under the Islamic faith (“Muslim marriages”) still do not receive full recognition under South African law. This leaves women and children from Muslim marriages vulnerable upon dissolution of such marriages, either by death or divorce.

Child Abuse

High levels of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect of children exist in South Africa. These children are affected emotionally and physically with long-lasting psychological consequences.

Customary Marriages

What does the Law say regarding customary marriages and their validity? Find out by reading this article on customary marriages.

civil procedure

Gender-Based Violence: stricter legislation on its way to prevent and protect

Every year, 16 days of activism takes place from 25 November to 10 December and is a campaign towards no violence against women and children. The purpose of this campaign is to highlight the negative impact violence has in an attempt to help victims of such violence. Although this campaign runs for 16 days, Government urges everyone to continuously act to safeguard against this type of abuse.


If you do the crime, you must do the time

When a person is found guilty of committing a criminal offence (“offence”) by a court of law, s/he will be punished (“sentenced”). A sentence might require such a person to go to jail or to pay a fine, depending on the circumstances. Most people might even call for the proverbial key to be thrown away. In many cases, not everyone will agree with a sentence given by a court, however, there are guidelines that the Courts must follow when handing down a sentence. This article intends to shed some light on how sentencing works, the types of sentences that can be given and so on.


Acknowledgement of Debt

An Acknowledgment of Debt (“AOD”) is an agreement containing a clear and undeniable admission of liability by one party to another.

Understanding a Rent to Own Agreement (Movable Property)

Many individuals may not be able to afford to purchase movable property in cash or on credit (through getting a loan). A Rent to Own Agreement (“Agreement”) can be useful for such individuals. The Agreement will allow one person (“Renter”) to rent something from another person (“Owner”) and to have full use of the property with the intention to become the Owner of the property at the end of the duration of the Agreement (through instalment payments).


Mandatory vaccinations in the workplace

The issue of mandatory vaccinations in the workplace has been quite a contentious issue. Covid-19 cases continue to grow and companies are still trying to adopt and cope with the effects on the workplace environment.

Vaccinations in the workplace: what does the law say?

​​​​​​​It has been well over a year now since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has indeed been a difficult time for most South Africans: economically, emotionally and physically. However, the vaccine has presented some hope for many, but remains a contentious topic with many different views being expressed. This article will address the current legal position in respect of vaccinations in the workplace.

human rights

Electoral Commission of South Africa: a brief overview

Local Government elections (“municipal elections”) are held every five years to elect councils for all districts, metropolitan and local municipalities within our nine provinces. The president of the Republic of South Africa announced that the municipal elections will be held on 1 November 2021.

Human rights: your beliefs and opinions

The Bill of Rights is contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (“Constitution”) and protects a person’s basic human rights (such as the rights to equality, human dignity, life and so on). Human rights are based on the values of society and must be carefully balanced to ensure that, although persons can exercise their human rights, they also have a responsibility to respect the human rights of others.


HIV/AIDS in the Workplace

South Africa has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world and most of us are affected by this longstanding pandemic, either in a direct manner or indirectly. Despite widespread awareness and great medical advancements in this field, those infected with HIV/AIDS still face discrimination due to their HIV/AIDS status. It is important to highlight that those infected with HIV/AIDS have the same rights as everyone else, particularly in the context of the workplace where they are highly prone to discrimination due to their HIV/AIDS status. This article will address some of the frequently asked questions on HIV/AIDS in the workplace.

National Minimum Wage: What you need to know

The National Minimum Wage Act 9 of 2018 (“Act”) aims to advance economic development and social justice by protecting workers from being paid unreasonably low wages. The Act applies to all workers and their employers except members of National Defence Force, the National Intelligence Agency and the South African Secret Service. Every employer may not pay wages that are below the minimum wage and the national minimum wage cannot be reduced by contract, except if the contract provides for a more favourable wage.

delictual claims

Medical negligence during childbirth

The childbirth process is a period that is exciting to most women. However, this process sometimes comes with its fair share of challenges, such as instances of medical negligence during the childbirth that have become quite common. This may be caused by improper or inadequate medical intervention, ill equipped facilities, or even negligence on the part of the medical practitioners.  The COVID-19 pandemic also serves as a great concern due to its contribution to the increased pressure on healthcare facilities and medical practitioners.


“Sign here, here and here” Signatures and their consequences

Everyone uses their signature on a regular basis, whether to sign an important contract or a receipt after buying something and paying with a card. Putting a signature on a document has a purpose and can bind a person to whatever is contained in that document. It is quite common for people to sign something without even reading it or knowing what s/he has signed. This article will shed some light on the legal consequences of signatures, as well as the different forms they might come in.

Direct Marketing in Terms of the Consumer Protection Act

Direct marketing is where a person is approached by a supplier for the purpose of advertising his/her goods for sale, services available, or to request a donation. The Consumer Protection Act gives every person a right to restrict or block any communication from suppliers of this nature.

estates planning

Dangers of Not Having a Will

If a person dies without a Will, his/her deceased estate will be distributed in terms of the Intestate Succession Act. This is also known as the rules of intestate succession.

Requirements of a Valid Will

There are specific requirements a Will must comply with which are regulated by the Wills Act 7 of 1953. Read our case study on the proper requirements for a valid Will in South Africa.

Guardian’s Fund

The Guardian’s Fund is established to protect and manage money on behalf of certain persons, such as children (persons below the age of 18 years), those who are not able to manage their own affairs or those who could not be found. The money held at the Guardian’s Fund is generally received from inheritance.