Talking Point March 2017


A succinct discussion of selected topical, legal matters

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I take great pleasure in submitting the March 2017 edition of Talking Point to you.  This edition and the previous two editions are also on our website at http://walkers.co.za/.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 –1900) is today one of the best known 19th century philosophers, and had a major influence on 20th century philosophy, but he did not experience fame during his lifetime.  At an early age, he was a successful academic in classical philology (the study of classical Latin and Greek).  He retired after ten years due to ill health, but received a decent pension.

For the next ten years, he travelled and wrote prodigiously on many subjects, including art, culture, philosophy, and religion.  Then, he suffered a collapse, and spent the rest of his life in a state of mental incapacitation.

Notwithstanding that many statements in his works are now very politically incorrect, some of Nietzsche’s insights are timeless.  Selected examples:

  • Enjoy life.  This is not a dress rehearsal.”

  • There is no defence against stupidity.”

  • There are no facts, only interpretations.”

More quotes from Nietzsche

In this issue:

The right to die and human dignity

Whether, or not, a country ought to allow physician administered euthanasia (PAE) is a difficult question to answer.  We report on the test case of Dignity SA, a pro PAE organisation.  We recommend that the reader withhold personal judgment until the very end of the article.

When your travel agent makes you ill

The Consumer Protection Act provides tremendous protection to consumers, but meaningful litigation has been sparse.  We discuss a recent UK case dealing with the UK equivalent consumer protection legislation and a “holiday from hell”.

The ingenuity of fraudsters

Email communication has boosted legitimate economic activity worldwide.  Unfortunately fraudsters abuse the same technology.  We discuss a recent case involving fraudsters getting the better of an attorney and client.

Why a company’s registered address matters

In the modern world, failure to comply with “petty” admin can have substantial consequences.  And a Court may be unsympathetic to a company that “does not sweat the small stuff”.  We discuss a blatant example.

The Companies Act shows its teeth

We discuss a ‘low key’ guilty plea, in a ‘minor’ matter in a Magistrates’ Court, which illustrates that in a corporate dispute, the Companies Act can be a pit-bull.  Directors and shareholders of companies ought to pay close attention.

POPI and debt collection

The Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) has been law since 2013, but is at present not fully operative.  We discuss a Canadian case involving the ‘abuse’ of the protection of personal information legislation.

Burning the American flag

The famous legal cases in this issue deal with the emotive matter in the USA of desecration of the American Flag.  The late Justice Antonin Scalia, who ruled in favour of the flag-burning protesters, said outside of Court that: “If it were up to me, I would put in jail every sandal-wearing, scruffy-bearded weirdo who burns the American flag, but I am not king.”

 

As always, I would greatly appreciate your feedback on Talking Point. Please email me at charlt@walkers.law.

Regards

Charl Theron

Chairman