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Can a court exercise extra-territorial jurisdiction without a jurisdictional basis?

Few attorneys give thought to whether their statements (or misstatements) to the party on the other side of a matter can give rise to delictual liability. However, it appears that our law does recognize a claim like this, and below are the principles that a court will consider when deciding to hold an attorney liable. […]


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Delictual liability of an attorney for a negligent misstatement

Few attorneys give thought to whether their statements (or misstatements) to the party on the other side of a matter can give rise to delictual liability. However, it appears that our law does recognize a claim like this, and below are the principles that a court will consider when deciding to hold an attorney liable. […]


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Delictual liability of an owner and/or manager in a “spillage” case

The recent case of Holtzhausen vs Cenprop Real Estate (Pty) Ltd and Another [2021] 2 All SA 457 (WCC) has cast doubt on the legal position of an owner or manager of premises in a so-called spillage case. A spillage case typically occurs when a visitor to a mall, supermarket or other public place slips on a liquid that has been lying on a floor. The fall causes the visitor to sustain injuries, which results in a delictual claim against the property owner and/or the management company managing the property and/or the cleaning company that cleans the property. […]


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Former TUT student losses claim against the directors of Mphela and Associates as the Supreme Court of Appeal upholds their appeal.

A former Tshwane University of Technology student lost her bid to hold Maditsi Mphela and Tshepho Matlala personally liable for damages she suffered as a result of police action during a student protest in 2008. The court found that the means used by police to restore order was not excessive. The judge upheld the appeal by the two attorneys and said they cannot be held liable for damages as even if they had followed Ms Ramatlo`s instructions to sue the police, they would not have succeeded.
Please click here to read article about the case. We have also published the full judgement on our website,
please click here to read more.


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Can your law firm be held liable for a pyramid scheme conducted by one of the partners?

A recent judgment handed down by the Kwazulu-Natal division of the high court has found one of Durban’s most prestigious and oldest law firms liable for a ponzi scheme that was conducted by one of its senior attorneys under the firm’s auspices. In Stols v Garlicke and Bousfield, PKF Durban Inc (and others as third parties) [2020] 4 All SA 850 (KZP), a senior consultant (Cowan) at the law firm Garlicke & Bousfield (Garlicke) offered a "bridging finance" service to the firm’s clients. This involved providing short-term finance at high interest rates to firm clients who were acquiring immovable property and needed to put up a deposit or funds in a very short period of time, but were unable to access such funds on a short-term basis. […]


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Misappropriation of Trust Fund and Personal Indemnity Insurance: a key issue for prospective partners

responsibilities that can be quite onerous. Making sure that your firm has certain safeguards in place to protect you from personal liability and disciplinary sanction from the Legal Practice Council (LPC) is essential before you accept the offer. Some issues to take into consideration are described below. […]


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Has the SCA undermined the purpose of the Consumer Protection Act?

Our law has historically required fault (culpa) on the part of a wrongdoer who is sued for harm caused to a third party. This is referred to as the fault theory of delictual liability. Until the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act (No 68 of 2008), suppliers and manufacturers enjoyed virtual immunity from liability for product defect claims because of the difficulty of establishing a contractual nexus between the plaintiff and the distributor, producer or importer. […]


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Review of recent case law dealing with the maxim of res ipsa loquitur in the context of medical negligence.

A recent judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal, Meyers v MEC, Department of Health, Eastern Cape 2020 (3) SA 337 (SCA), has raised the spectre of the return of the previously discarded maxim of res ipsa loquitur. The maxim was explained by Ponnan JA in Cecilia Goliath v Member of the Executive Council for Health, Eastern Cape [2014] ZASCA 182 as “a convenient Latin phrase used to describe the proof of facts which are sufficient to support an inference that a defendant was negligent and thereby to establish a prima facie case against him” [para 10]. […]


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High Court refuses to curtail COVID-19 regulations

With the whole country under lockdown, having now moved from Stage 5 to Stage 4, many people are asking whether the regulations passed in terms of the Disaster Management Act no 57 of 2002 (the “DMA”) are proportional to the risk posed by the coronavirus. A very recent judgment of the South Gauteng High Court has found that the restrictions imposed by the regulations are not unreasonable or unjustifiable, and its reasoning is instructive for South African attorneys contemplating whether to challenge the regulations on the basis that the regulations violate various constitutional provisions guaranteeing the citizens of South Africa freedom of religion, association and movement. […]


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The SCA declares Section 10(1) of the Equality Act Unconstitutional

In an article dated 5 February 2020, I focused attention on two recent judgments dealing with the hate speech provisions of Section 16(2) of the Constitution and the legislation that gives effect to Section 16(2) of the Constitution - Section 10(1) of the Equality Act (Act No. 4 of 2000). I stressed in my article that Section 16(2) contemplates that advocacy of hatred, however offensive, does not become hate speech unless the element of “incitement to cause harm” is present. […]


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Will a court allow a prescribed claim to be added by way of amendment?

A recent judgment by a full bench of the Kwazulu-Natal High Court has revitalized the debate whether an amendment to a pleading should be allowed if the claim, as amended, has prescribed. In Heramoney Salligram and Others v Nalin Salligram and Others, [2019] ZAKZPHC 63 (20 September 2019) […]


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A tale of two judgments dealing with free speech and hate speech

Two recent judgments have revealed a schism in our law in its approach to free speech versus hate speech. Before analyzing the judgments, it is worth providing the legislative framework that governs free speech and hate speech in South Africa […]


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Suing in contract and delict: is it really possible?

A recent judgment by Unterhalter J in the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court has revived the tension in our law as to whether a plaintiff with a contractual claim can proceed in delict to obtain relief. This is known as a concurrence of actions in contract and delict […]


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Finding A Profitable Niche

Law firms, like most service-based businesses, are difficult to scale. Maditsi Mphela has taken a business with a R10 000 turnover in 1986 and not only stood the test of time, but scaled to R100 million by becoming a niche leader. Learn the tactics used by Maditsi Mphela to build a small-town legal business into […]


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Goldfields Circle of the Free State Law Society AGM 2016

Welkom, Free State – Mr. Maditsi Mphela, Managing Partner at Mphela and Associates Attorneys was the key note speaker at the Goldfields Circle of the Free State Law Society AGM. The Goldfields Circle of the Free State Law Society, which comprises of about 250 law firms, held their Annual General Meeting on the 4th of […]


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How Maditsi Mphela built his R100 million business

Starting as a sole practitioner in 1986, Maditsi Mphela built Mphela & Associates to become one of the most highly-regarded black-owned law firms in the country today, with a 100% success rate in more than 15 000 accident and personal injury claims. He talks us through the essentials of growing his business


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Mr Mphela receiving awards at the SABC Client Loyalty Awards ceremony

Maditsi Mphela receiving SABC Loyalty Awards

Mr Maditsi Mphela, our Managing Partner was presented with the Best Video Case Study on Radio Effectiveness award and the Top Ten Fiscal Advertisers on SABC Platforms awards. The award ceremony was held on the 23rd of June at the Fusion Boutique Hotel in Polokwane.


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Mphela’s SABC Loyalty Awards Video Case Study

The Limpopo Business Development Loyalty Awards took place this month and the ceremony saw Mphela and Associates Attorneys take home awards for Best Video Case Study on Radio Effectiveness, and the award was presented by the SABC Commercial Enterprises. This was not the only award that Mphela snubbed as we also walked away with the […]


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