An Information Service supplied by the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society

Issue no.3 - 20 January 2006                    

This information service also serves to draw attention to current news items
 and readers are directed to the hosts' websites

Government Gazette Update
Draft Regulations
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Gazette
Recent Journal Articles of Interest
Acta Juridica
The Taxpayer
News on the Electronic Front
Recent Judgments Available on the Internet
Government and Legislation
Useful Links and Items of Interest
Virus alert
WWW Why Work the Web - Making the Internet Work for You
This Week in History
Last Thought
Weblog -

Government Gazette Update

Road Accident Fund Amendment Act 19 of 2005

Commencement date : to be proclaimed
GN 3/GG 28374/05-01-2006

Traditional Health Practitioners Act 35 of 2004

Commencement date of ss.7, 10, 11(3), 12, 13, 14, 15, 47, 48 and 50 : 13 January 2006
PR 19/GG 28389/11-01-2006

Draft Regulations
Aviation Act 74 of 1962

Proposed amendment to the Civil Aviation Regulations, 1997
GNR 6/GG 28382/11-01-2006

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Gazette - now available online via as the result of a collaborative project between the Premier's Office and the KZNLS
KwaZulu-Natal Adjustments Appropriation Act 6 of 2005

PG 6458/09-01-2006

Recent Journal Articles of Interest

Acta Juridica
Brooms sweeping oceans? : women's rights in South Africa's first decade of democracy
Michelle O'Sullivan and Christina Murray

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.1
Women, customary law and discrimination : the impact of the Communal Land Rights Act
Aninka Classens

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.42
The advancement of African women's rights in the first decade of democracy in South Africa : the reform of the customary law of marriage and succession
Chuma Himonga

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.82
Domestic partnerships and marital status discrimination
Craig Lind

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.108
Expanding equality
Saras Jagwanth

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.131
Denial of the means of subsistence as an equality violation
Gwen Brodsky and Shelagh Day

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.149
The dark side of the rainbow : violence against women in South Africa after ten years of democracy
Helene Combrinck

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.171
Bridges and barriers : a five year retrospective on the Domestic Violence Act
Lillian Artz and Dee Smythe

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.200
Removing the prescription blindfold in cases of childhood sexual abuse
Nikki Naylor

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.227
South Africa's national gender machinery
Rashida Manjoo

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.243
The Women's Legal Centre during its first five years
Ruth Cowen

Acta Juridica - 2005, p.273

The Taxpayer
Registration of tax practitioners

The Taxpayer - v.54(12), p.221
STC : foreign parents of resident subsidiaries
The Taxpayer - v.54(12), p.223
Man of the match
The Taxpayer - v.54(12), p.225
Restraint of trade
The Taxpayer - v.54(12), p.226
Royalty payments : whether deductible revenue expenditure
The Taxpayer - v.54(12), p.228
Non-discrimination required by double taxation agreements
The Taxpayer - v.54(12), p.238
Secret profit of agent
The Taxpayer - v.54(12), p.240

News on the Electronic Front

Recent Judgments Available on the Internet

Constitutional Court of South Africa -

Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa - ; ;

15 December 2005
Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd v Saunderson and Others
Execution against mortgaged property – whether mortgagee required to justify order constitutionally

14 December 2005
Phenithi v Minister of Education and Others
Employment Law – educators – discharge of – deemed discharge on account of absence from work without permission for more than 14 consecutive days in terms of s 14(1)(a) of Employment of Educators Act 76 of 1998 – coming into operation of deeming provision not dependent upon any decision and so not constituting administrative action – hearing not totally excluded and accordingly provision not unconstitutional

8 December 2005
Brown v Stone
Jurisdiction – interim custody order inextricably linked to order that child be returned to South Africa – court not able to enforce return order - no jurisdiction to grant such order

Battle of Makhado back in court - 18 January
The controversy surrounding the renaming of Louis Trichardt in Mpumalanga is going back to court. The Chairperson's Association - a multiracial group of Afrikaners, Pedis, Tsongas, Indians and the local business community - has been granted permission to appeal against the changing of the town's name to Makhado. - News24 website

Land Claims Court of South Africa -

Tax Courts -

Cape Provincial Division -

Minister turns up the heat on extradition row - 18 January
Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla has hit back at a Pinelands businessman's efforts to avoid extradition to Canada, where he faces a three-year sentence for sexually abusing a teenage girl. In papers filed at the Cape High Court yesterday, Mabandla said it was "in the interests of justice" that 49-year-old technology expert and father-of-two Trevor Robinson be returned to Canada to serve the sentence he received nearly a decade ago for sexually molesting the teenage daughter of his Singapore-born wife's best friend. - Cape Argus website

Cape High Court gives home affairs ultimatum - 17 January
The Cape High Court has given the department of home affairs an ultimatum to produce a report by May 3 on handling the currently "unconstitutional" reception of asylum seekers at the refugee reception office in Cape Town. The report has to indicate the number of officials assigned to receiving applications, the extension of permits already granted, the days of the week on which tasks are performed, the number of hours each official is obliged to work and the hours during the day that officials are accessible. - IOL website

Couple whose baby died sue midwives for R1m - 16 January
A Bishopcourt Estate couple whose baby died shortly after birth during a home delivery more than three years ago are suing a midwifery practice and two midwives for R1-million in damages in the Cape High Court. Catherine and Peter Raimondo claim that the midwifery and the midwives had not warned them of the risks of a home delivery where a primigravida (a woman pregnant for the first time) is concerned and that they failed to adopt the procedures required when foetal distress was detected. - IOL website

Durban and Coast Local Division

Shaik Case

20 January

Shaik's defence attacks state
Shaik's counsel Advocate Nimal Singh argued that in respect of the Thomson and ADS shares, the State could not claim that there was benefit as Shaik was not convicted of those charges. - IOL website

19 January

Shaik case to prove 'crime doesn't pay'
Schabir Shaik's R21-million stake in African Defence Systems had been secured through his "stick-and-carrot" corrupt relationship with former Deputy President Jacob Zuma. And this benefit, including a further R12,7-million he had earned in dividends so far from his shares in the arms company, must be confiscated in a clear message to South Africans that "crime does not pay". - IOL website

State to complete statements in Shaik case
Arguments in the application by the Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) to confiscate assets belonging to Schabir Shaik, the convicted fraudster, will resume in the Durban High Court today. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) formally lodged its warrant in the Durban High Court yesterday. - SABC News website

Shaik : State has to wait
Judgment was reserved on Thursday in the State's bid to confiscate about R34m in assets from Durban businessman Schabir Shaik, the SABC reported. - News24 website

18 January

R28,8m Shaik assets 'not enough'
The court-appointed curator in Schabir Shaik's asset forfeiture case has preserved assets valued at R28,8-million belonging to him, but the state wants more and will ask for an order against Shaik and his companies for R34,5-million. - IOL website

16 January

State wants R34-million from Shaik
The state believes about R34-million was involved in Jacob Zuma's "generally corrupt relationship" with Schabir Shaik and it wants every cent back, News24 reported on Monday. It said the National Prosecuting Authority's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) would file an application to this effect in the Durban High Court on Wednesday. The application would seek a warrant giving the state control over Shaik's assets in the arms manufacturing company that profited from the multimillion-rand arms deal. - Mail & Guardian website

State wants R34m in Shaik assets
The government asked the Durban High Court on Wednesday to seize R34-million in assets from the Shabir Shaik. Lawyers and journalists crowded the court room Wednesday, but Shaik, a longstanding friend and former financial daviser of sacked deputy president Jacob Zuma, did not attend the hearing, SAFM radio reported. - IOL website

Eastern Cape Division -

12 January 2005
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union and Others v Minister of Correctional Services and Others
Application to review and set aside the dismissal of the second to seventy sixth applicants, brought in terms of Rule 53 of the Uniform Rules – Jurisdiction of the High Court in labour related matters – Whether the power to dismiss the dismissed applicants a public power susceptible to judicial review, and whether it constitutes administrative action, subject to review in terms of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 – Held that the power to dismiss in the circumstances was such a power and that the PAJA applied – Held on the facts that the decisions to dismiss had been tainted by infringements of the right to lawful administrative action and procedurally fair administrative action - Costs where the successful parties have acted in a manner deserving of censure and the respondent had not had clean hands either – Each party ordered to bear their own costs

11 January 2005
Engelbrecht v Merry Hill (Pty) Ltd and Others
Section 19(2)(c) of the Alienation of Land Act 68 of 1981 – Purpose of section, namely to provide reasonable protection to a purchaser of land, re-stated, as was the peremptory nature of the notice envisaged therein – Held that Miller v Hall 1984 (1) SA 355 (D) and Oakley v Bestconstructo (Pty) Ltd 1983 (4) SA 312 (T) were not clearly wrong and were to be applied to the facts of the instant case – On the facts, held that the first respondent, as seller of land, had failed to give an indication of the steps it intended taking against the applicant, as purchaser of the land, because the notice had set out no more than what the contract entitled it to do pursuant to breach and that it had not elected what step to take from the possibilities mentioned in the contract. The notice was accordingly invalid

Free State Provincial Division -

Natal Provincial Division -

Transvaal Provincial Division

Widow sues for R1 million - 19 January
A 30-YEAR-OLD Uitenhage widow is suing a German company for close to R1 million after her husband developed a rare disease and died because of alleged contamination of a graft. An interim Pretoria High Court order authorising the sheriff to attach shares and equipment of B Braun Medical in Johannesburg, to establish jurisdiction for Mrs Sanet Minnie’s claim against the German company B Braun Melsungen, was extended to March 17 yesterday. - Citizen website

No money for 'skelmpie' - 16 January
A woman's attempt to get half the estate of her "bankrupt, cold and hungry" lover, failed dismally in the High Court here. Vista University lecturer Catharina Van Deventer claims she is entitled to half of John Robert Hindley's estate since a universal partnership arose between them and because they lived together like a couple who were married in community of property. - News24 website

Scorpions misled judge, says Thint boss - 15 January
The Scorpions misled Bernard Ngoepe, the judge president of the Transvaal provincial division, more commonly known as the Pretoria High Court, by not disclosing vital information to the judge when they applied for, and were given, search warrants in August. - IOL website

Regional Courts


Cop acquitted in Gugger shooting case - 20 January
"I told you I'm a policeman. Didn't you hear the police radio?" Inspector Daniel Pienaar said as he walked to the man kneeling on the ground. "Sorry. I thought you were hijackers," Eric Gugger replied before he rolled onto his back and died. This was the last exchange of words Gugger and the man accused of murdering him had on August 24 2004. On Thursday the Pretoria regional court found Pienaar not guilty on this charge, saying there was no proof that he had intended to kill Gugger. - IOL website

Magistrates Courts


Horror tale of laundry murder - 18 January
Three women workers at a dry cleaners were put one by one - and still alive - into a large washing machine with chemicals, before being tied up and strangled, Vereeniging magistrate's court was told on Wednesday. - News24 website

Triple murders were racist, court told - 18 January
The state has outlined the motive for the macabre triple murder at a dry-cleaning store, claiming the killing of the women was a racist attack arising from a labour dispute. - IOL website

Advertising Standards Authority -

Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa -

Competition Commission, Tribunal and Appeal Court - ;

Public Accountants' and Auditors' Board -

Wireless Application Service Providers' Association -

Government and Legislation

South Africa Government Information -

Statements and Speeches

SAHRC on on rights of gay men to donate blood
20 January 2006

Government to settle compensation claims of Lesotho ex-migrant workers
19 January 2006

Agriculture and Land Affairs Ministry and social partners meet to fast-track land summit recommendations
19 January 2006

Statement on Mr Khalid Mahmood Rashid's deportation to Pakistan
18 January 2006


Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act

Cars not so fine for the buyers - 21 January
Second-hand vehicle owners who bought cars through private sale agreements could find themselves slapped with outstanding traffic fines incurred by the previous owners. With the implementation of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Act on the cards next year, transport authorities have advised private second-hand car buyers to check for any outstanding fines on the cars they intend buying. - IOL website

Auditing Profession Bill - [as tabled at 8 September 2005]

New law may start flood of irregularity reports : PAAB - 17 January
The Public Accountants' and Auditors' Board (PAAB) anticipates a flood of reports of material irregularities from its members once new legislation is passed. This was because the new legislation, due to become law this year, had widened the definition of what constituted a material irregularity at a company and had set out hefty penalties for auditors if they did not report these transgressions. - Business Report website

Constitution Fourteenth Draft Amendment Bill 2005 and Superior Courts Bill

"Here is a link to the Constitution Fourteenth Draft Amendment Bill 2005. Although the time period for comments to the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development expired on 15 January 2006, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development has assured us that there will be ample opportunity to comment on the bill as soon as it is tabled in Parliament this session". - Source : Parliamentary Monitoring Group email

Amendment Bill to 'put judges at minister's mercy' - 20 January
Opposition leader Tony Leon on Friday criticised the African National Congress government's attempts to "place the judiciary under executive control". In his weekly newsletter, Leon said the 14th Constitution Amendment Bill would, if passed, give "power over the administration and budgets of courts to the minister of justice, effectively putting judges at her mercy". - Mail & Guardian website

Abolishment of labour courts under scrutiny - 18 January
The abolition of labour courts and their incorporation into the high courts of South Africa was discussed in Parliament today. Briefing the justice committee, the department of justice says due to the high volume of cases at the labour court it would make sense to incorporate it into the mainstream system so that it is also able to access better judges. - SABC News website

Courting trouble - 18 January
There has been a fuss about what judges think of new draft legislation that will change the structure of SA's court system. There hasn’t been nearly enough fuss about what the rest of us might have to say on the subject. And citizens certainly might have views, one way or the other, on issues such as the proposed abolition of the labour courts and plans to scale down the Supreme Court of Appeal's operations in Bloemfontein. - Business Day website

Judges themselves will deal with challenge to new laws on judiciary - 17 January
Two Bills affecting the judiciary being presented to parliament will not undermine the independence of the judiciary and even if there was a constitutional challenge to the Bills, the matter would be decided by judges themselves, through the Constitutional Court. This was said yesterday by Menzi Simelane, the director-general of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, addressing members of parliament's portfolio committee on Justice and Constitutional Development as well as the media. The Bills concerned are the Superior Courts Bill, which has been tabled in parliament, and a draft of the Constitution Fourteenth Amendment Bill. - BUA Website

Scramble to soothe judges' fears on bill - 17 January
Justice department officials yesterday rejected allegations that they had snubbed the country’s top judges by not consulting them before publishing draft amendments to the constitution that will radically transform the structure and functioning of the judiciary. - Business Day website

Amendments to judiciary 'not sneaked into law' - 16 January
No malice was intended when gazetting draft constitutional amendments for public comment over the Christmas holiday period, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said on Monday. - Mail & Guardian website

Judges shocked at bid to push through new law - 15 January
Top judges were alarmed this week to discover government attempts to push through “sinister” changes to the Constitution that they say undermine judicial independence. The draft constitutional amendment was published in the Government Gazette on December 14 last year, with today set as the deadline for public comment. But all the courts were effectively closed during this period. - Sunday Times website

Genetically Modified Organisms Amendment Bill - [as of October 2005]

Parliament hears legislation hampers biotech research - 17 January
Biotechnology research and development in South Africa should not be hampered by onerous and unnecessary safety checks, members of Parliament's agriculture and land affairs committee heard on Tuesday. - Mail & Guardian website

National Credit Bill - [as passed by the National Assembly on 12 October 2005] ; [Portfolio Committee Amendments - 12 October 2005]

Loan sharks pose risk to microfinance industry - 16 January
Loan sharks who prey on vulnerable South Africans and who charge "interest rates" upwards of 100% a week are posing a threat to the microfinance industry says South Africa's largest source of credit information. Fred Steffers, managing director of the Consumer Profile Bureau, said although the activities of these "lenders" will be criminalised by the new Credit Bill, police were finding it difficult to act against them. - Sunday Times website

Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act

Payola curbs on the way - 11 January
The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, is expected to curb the widespread practice of corporate influence peddling. It appears that few SA companies have policies to inhibit excessive "relationship building". Thousands of SA companies lavishly entertain and reward public servants and business contacts, but the practice could be reined in severely if the new law is vigorously enforced. So says Johann Scholtz, partner at Webber Wentzel Bowens. - Moneyweb website

Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act 70 of 2002 (RICA)

New cellphone laws to curb hi-tech criminals - 21 January
Cellphone owners who fail to report stolen or missing cellphones could be guilty of a criminal offence under strict new legislation that will come into effect by the middle of the year. The new regulations are part of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act. - IOL website

Million-rand bill for ISPs - 17 January
Buying the equipment required to meet the conditions of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act of 2002 (RICA) will prove expensive for Internet service providers (ISPs), warns the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA). - ITWeb website

Road Accident Fund Amendment Act

'Amended RAF act won't help the poor' - 17 January
The revamped Road Accident Fund (RAF) Amendment Act, which was gazetted early this month with promises that it would entitle minibus commuters to claim for medical expenses and loss of income, would not be as beneficial to the poor as it had been portrayed, Leigh de Souza, the spokesperson for the Johannesburg Attorney Association, warned yesterday. - Business Report website

Taxi commuters finally get RAF cover - 16 January
Minibus taxi commuters will soon be able to claim their medical expenses and loss of income if they are injured in an accident involving the vehicle in which they are travelling. This follows the signing by President Thabo Mbeki and the gazetting of the Road Accident Fund (RAF) Amendment Act of 2005. The act will come into operation once the department of transport has published guideline regulations. - Business Report website

Useful Links and Items of Interest

Legal Profession

South Africa

Dark age banking - 18 January
Electronic banking has meant it’s never been easier or faster to transact with clients and suppliers – yet some lawyers are still living in the dark ages when it comes to paying bills and receiving money. - Moneyweb website


Indian lawyers can practise UK laws - 19 January
Indian lawyers will be given the chance to qualify under UK law without leaving their homes under the English Law Society reforms aimed at coaxing liberalisation from the coveted - but heavily restrictive - local legal market. - Hindustan Times website

United Kingdom

Legal oddities on display in Britain - 15 January
Odd, archaic laws that remain in force in Britain are being highlighted in a new exhibition by the Law Society, Sky News reported Sunday. The exhibition showcases bizarre laws from the society's archive of legal documents - some dating back to the 13th century. One law on show at the exhibition - which is based at the Law Society's library in central London - says firing a cannon close to someone's house is punishable with a 200 pound fine ($355). - United Press International website

Law Society [of England and Wales] -

ASBOs of the 1600s - current until end of February 2006
A fascinating exhibition about strange and lesser known legislation, which remains in force today, is being held in the Law Society's library in Chancery Lane. The material comes from the Law Society library's Statute collections, which date from 1603 to 1898. It includes a number of curious Acts, dating back as far as the sixteen hundreds, which are still on the statute books. Since 1965 there have been seventeen Statute Law Revision Acts and over 2,000 obsolete laws have been repealed. However some laws have remained on the statute books for centuries. It is still illegal, for example, for anyone to wear armour to Parliament, to hang washing across the street or to fire a cannon close to a dwelling. The licensing Act of 1872 states that it is illegal to be drunk in charge of a cow, horse or steam engine. - Lawsoc website

South Africa


Compliance spending to increase - 17 January
Compliance-related technology spending is expected to increase in SA this year, says research firm BMI-TechKnowledge. The year is also expected to see a knock-on effect as larger organisations busy with compliance activities also start to expect suppliers to be compliant. - ITWeb website


Gay blood row : GLA stirs up confusion - 16 January
There was no clarity on Monday on whether a protest campaign by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GLA) against a ban on gay blood donors actually took place. The GLA claimed it had recruited more than 100 gay men to donate blood to the SA National Blood Services without disclosing their sexual activities. SA National Blood Services CEO Anthon Heyns said the organisation was not able to find any record of the people who the GLA claimed had donated blood. - IOL website

Latest 'blood war' could go to court - 15 January
Gay activists who this week lied about their sexual orientation and HIV status before donating blood could face legal action. The South African National Blood Service's (SANBS's) policy of excluding gay men has been in place since 1983 and is apparently based on "international medical data". - IOL website

Labour Law

Labour laws to be changed this year - 20 January
The labour laws will be amended this year. "That much is a done deal," a senior ANC parliamentarian conceded this week. However, the nature and extent of the amendments are still not decided and battle lines are being drawn. - Business Report website


Barclays faces apartheid court action - 21 January
Barclays and 22 other international companies are facing legal action brought by a South African activist group over their involvement in the country during the apartheid regime. The reparations appeal case is due to be heard in New York next week. - The Independent [UK] website

Activists to protest apartheid-reparations affidavit - 20 January
Supporters of activist groups Khulumani and Jubilee South Africa are planning demonstrations in a last-ditch effort to get Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Bridgette Mabandla to withdraw an opposing affidavit in an apartheid-reparations appeal case due to be heard in the United States next week. - Mail & Guardian website

Road Accident Fund

RAF still battling R19.8bn deficit - 19 January
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) remains R19.8 billion in the red and a solution has yet to be found, the department of transport has said. Marissa du Toit, a spokesperson for the department, said the deficit had been a problem for years despite efforts by the ministry to address it. - Business Report website

RAF awaits minister's approval of recovery plan - 18 January
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) will get a major boost when its three-year turnaround plan, drawn up by chief executive Jacob Modise, is approved by the minister of transport. - Business Report website

see also Road Accident Fund Amendment Act above


A taxing new year - 18 January
Over the past year, the finance minister has made a number of tax changes that will have a material impact on taxable incomes. While you may be celebrating lower tax rates, the government is starting to squeeze the items that can be used as tax deductions, including medical aid contributions and travel allowances. - Mail & Guardian website

Hopes high for tax cuts this year - 15 January
A windfall for the government from booming corporate tax earnings and a healthy economy point to a significant payback in the form of tax cuts in next month's budget, economists predict. - IOL website

Traffic and Transport

SMS your way to traffic peace of mind - 18 January
An SMS costing R5 can help prevent you being locked up for outstanding traffic fines. From Thursday, Johannesburg motorists will be able to access their traffic fine status through an SMS, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) said. By sending an SMS with your ID number to 36997, you can check for outstanding warrants or fines. - IOL website


State goes over minister's head - 18 January
National police legal advisers appear to have ignored the basics when they paid R258 000 in compensation to a magistrate who sued Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula for unlawful arrest. Officials from the police's legal services and litigation section didn't bother to get the arresting officer, director Vincent Ntengo, to give his side of the story. Instead they rushed through a proposal to settle out of court with the State Attorney's office. Nqakula was also never informed about the settlement, even though the claim is against him as political head of the police. - News24 website


African Court on Human and People's Rights

The election of judges to the african court on human and peoples' rights - 20 January
The Coalition for an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Coalition) is a network of non-governmental organisations that was formed in Niamey, Niger in May 2003 for the rapid establishment of an effective and independent African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Court) in order to provide redress for victims of human rights violations and strengthen the human rights protection system in Africa. Below is the Coalition’s submission on the nominations and elections of judges to the Court. - Vanguard [Nigeria] website

Africa to appoint judges for new human rights court - 19 January
Africa will move a step closer to establishing its own human rights court next week when African leaders appoint judges for the institution, an African Union (AU) official said on Thursday. - Reuters website


Journalist’s killer gets 30-year prison sentence but mysteries remain - 20 January
Reporters Without Borders welcomed the 30-year jail sentence passed today on Anibal Antonio dos Santos Junior ("Anibalzinho"), for leading the commando that gunned down journalist Carlos Cardoso in 2000. - Reporters Without Borders website


Law Society challenges Crimminal Procedure Act - 20 January
The Law Society of Zimbabwe is challenging the constitutionality of a section of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act that allows the state to direct the courts to detain suspects for up to 21 days without bail. - The Independent [Zimbabwe] website



Katherine's killers are sentenced to death - 19 January
Seventeen days after the backpacker Katherine Horton was attacked on a beach in Thailand, her killers were sentenced to death yesterday. In a nondescript courtroom, below a youthful photo portrait of Thailand's king, it took judge Jamnong Sudjaimaialmost an hour to read the verdi
ct. The two had admitted their guilt, and confession is normally a mitigating circumstance in Thailand, but with the country still looking to revive its tourism industry after the Boxing Day tsunami, the prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, had called for them to face the "harshest possible punishment". Under Thai law there is an automatic appeal against the death penalty, which has to start within a month, and a second further appeal to the supreme court is also possible. - Telegraph website


Human Rights

UK accused of complicity in torture - 19 January
Human Rights Watch on Wednesday accused European countries, including the United Kingdom, of undermining human rights worldwide by courting countries such as Russia, China and Saudi Arabia while ignoring evidence of their extensive abuses. - Mail & Guardian website

United Kingdom


Here's the news... we won't be broadcasting - 18 January
According to Clause 8, it will be an offence to attend a place, in the UK or elsewhere, knowing or merely believing it to be used for training in terrorism. And you commit the offence simply by being there; you don't have to receive the training yourself. - Telegraph website

Family Law

Fathers give up campaign - 19 January
Fathers 4 Justice, the radical campaign group for men involved in child custody battles, was disbanded last night after allegations that extremist elements were plotting to kidnap Tony Blair's five-year-old son Leo. Matt O'Connor, the founder, said that after endless feuding in the group and dangerous activities by those on its fringes he had concluded that mothers were simply more mature than fathers. - Telegraph website

Human Rights

Military discipline 'at risk' from fear of courts - 15 January
Army instructors are struggling to enforce discipline at recruit training centres because they are scared of becoming embroiled in high-profile bullying investigations. - Telegraph website

Towing away cars could be breach of human rights - 18 January
Councils that tow away cars run the risk of breaking human rights legislation, the parking appeal service has said. - Telegraph website

Identity Cards Bill

Peers block identity cards over cost - 17 January
The Government suffered a serious setback in its attempt to introduce a national identity card yesterday when the House of Lords voted not to accept the proposal until more information is disclosed about its potentially enormous cost. - Telegraph website

see Identity Cards Bill -

Legal System

Thieves no longer have to appear in court - 16 January
Tony Blair is planning a revolution in the legal system that would mean up to a million petty criminals a year being dealt with by prosecutors and the police without ever going to court. - Telegraph website

Britain may legalise brothels - 17 January
The British government on Tuesday moved toward legalising mini brothels, as it proposed changing the law to allow up to three prostitutes to work together. - News24 website


'Tosh' it may be, but this old book is now worth £100,000 - 19 January
James Joyce's Ulysses has baffled readers for a century with its dense prose, obscure puns and allusions to The Odyssey, by Homer. Virginia Woolf declared that she had never read such "tosh". But in the world of 20th century rare books, nothing is rarer than an original Ulysses and yesterday it was named as the most valuable 20th century first-edition novel by Book & Magazine Collector magazine. - Telegraph website

United States


Can data ever be deleted? - 11 January
Inspired by Enron and other data cover-up fiascos, legislative bodies around the country are thinking less of big yellow taxis and more about making it illegal for companies to jettison data. As a result, the already colossal global repository of data storage is being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of compliance-related storage demands. - internetnews website


Sobbing sorry fails to cut down on jail time - 19 January
A couple who planted a human finger in a bowl of chilli at a Wendy's fast food restaurant was sentenced in California on Wednesday to nine years in prison. - IOL website

Bush blocked as court approves euthanasia - 18 January
The United States Supreme Court blocked President George Bush's administration on Tuesday from punishing doctors who help terminally ill patients die. The decision protects the nation's only law, in the West Coast state of Oregon, that allows assisted suicide. - IOL website

The assisted-suicide decision - 19 January
The Supreme Court smacked former Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Bush administration when it ruled 6 to 3 that the Justice Department had gone beyond its authority in trying to undermine an assisted-suicide law in Oregon. - New York Times website


'Annoying e-mail' law stirs blogosphere - 10 January
A new law extending telephone harassment prohibitions and penalties to anonymous e-mails and Voice over IP calls has raised nary a peep among civil liberty groups and the legal community. In the blogosphere, however, news of the amended law is prompting an outpouring of concern about free speech and fears that the legislation could impact businesses because it prohibits anonymous e-mails if they are "annoying". - internetnews website


Legal rationale by Justice Dept  on spying effort - 20 January
The Bush administration offered its fullest defense to date Thursday of the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program, saying that authorization from Congress to deter terrorist attacks "places the president at the zenith of his powers in authorizing the NSA activities". - New York Times website

Report questions legality of briefings on surveillance - 18 January
A legal analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service concludes that the Bush administration's limited briefings for Congress on the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping without warrants are "inconsistent with the law". - New York Times website


Virus Alerts

Visit for up-to-date virus warnings

WWW Why Work the Web - Making the Internet Work for You


Gonzales makes indecent proposal to Google - 20 January
Though privacy has been cited as one reason for Google's battle against a subpoena from Alberto Gonzales and the Justice Department, the other reason, preserving trade secrets, looks like the reason Google has dug in to resist the request. - webpronews website

Google resists US subpoena of search data - 19 January
The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to compel Google, the Internet search giant, to turn over records on millions of its users' search queries as part of the government's effort to uphold an online pornography law. - New York Times website

FAQ : What does the Google subpoena mean? - 20 January
CNet News website


German Wikipedia site still down after suit - 20 January
The German-language version of the Web-based encyclopedia Wikipedia remained off-line on Friday, after a court order barring the German chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation as part of a lawsuit filed by the family of a dead hacker. - IOL website

This Week in History

14 January 1980
old prices soar [$800 an ounce]
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15 January

Judges of the Black Circuit return to Cape Town
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Qaddafi is Premier of Libya
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Nixon orders ceasefire in Vietnam
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16 January

Shah of Iran flees into exile
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Padeophile Gert van Rooyen and mistress commit suicide
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17 January 1991
'Mother of all Battles' begins [Gulf War]

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18 January 1778
Cook discovers Hawaii
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19 January

Rebel cricketers face storm of protest
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'Internet twins' taken into care

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20 January

Explorers meet at South Pole
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John F Kennedy sworn in as US president

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Last Thought

A change of address can be really grave - 19 January
Zurich - A Swiss joker had his last wish fulfilled when his obituary was published as a change of address notice. The obituary published in the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper read: "Change of address for Roland Jacob. My new address is the Rehalp cemetery, plot number 4276. I look forward to your visit." -

This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on January 19, 2006

IOL website

Contributions to this bulletin were made by the Librarians and Information Manager of the KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, and Marina Rubidge (Librarian - Jowell Glyn and Marais, Johannesburg)

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