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20 Noteworthy Judgments from 2018

1. Eskom's decisions to accept Brian Molefe's "early retirement" proposal

and to reinstate Mr. Molefe to the position of Group Chief Executive are set
aside. Molefe is ordered to pay back any money received under a pension
agreement. Democratic Alliance v Minister of Public Enterprise and Others;
Economic Freedom Fighters v Eskom Holdings Limited and Others; Solidarity
Trade Union v Molefe and Others (33051/2017; 34568/2017; 34042/2017)
[2018] ZAGPPHC 1 (25 January 2018).

2. For the purposes of determining whether the Children's Court has

jurisdiction to hear a matter, it is irrelevant whether the child is a foreign
national or is in the country legally or illegally. NS and Others v Presiding
Officer of the Children's Court (2184/18) [2018] ZAGPJHC 59 (6 February 2018).

3. Regulation 23A (4) of the National Credit Act, which obliges credit
providers to validate a consumer’s income using documents such as bank
statements and payslips, is reviewed and set aside. Truworths Limited and
Others v Minister of Trade and Industry and Others (4375/2016) [2018]
ZAWCHC 41; 2018 (3) SA 558 (WCC) (16 March 2018).

4. After the tragic drowning of 5-year-old Michael Komape in a pit latrine

at school, government is ordered to supply and install proper toilets that are
easily accessible, secure and safe and which provide privacy and promote
health and hygiene at each rural school currently equipped with pit latrines in
the Province of Limpopo. Komape and Others v Minister of Basic Education
(1416/2015) [2018] ZALMPPHC 18 (23 April 2018).

5. The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) must disclose its private

deliberations as part of the record when there is a review of their decision. This
is part of an applicant's right of access to court. Helen Suzman Foundation v
Judicial Service Commission (CCT289/16) [2018] ZACC 8; 2018 (4) SA 1 (CC);
2018 (7) BCLR 763 (CC) (24 April 2018).

6. Henri van Breda is found guilty of the murders of his father, mother, and
brother; the attempted murder of his sister; and defeating/obstructing the
administration of justice. He is given three life sentences (one for each
murder), as well as 15 years (for attempted murder) and 12 months (for
obstruction of justice). S v Van Breda (SS17/16) [2018] ZAWCHC 87 (7 June

7. Information on the funding of political parties is vital for the exercise of

the right to make political choices and participate in elections, and must be
recorded, preserved and made accessible. PAIA is invalid insofar as it fails to
provide for this. My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional
Services and Another (CCT249/17) [2018] ZACC 17 (21 June 2018).

8. The Film and Publication Tribunal's decision to classify the film Inxeba as
X18 SLNVP, in terms of the Films and Publications Act, 65 of 1996, is set aside.
Indigenous Film Distribution (Pty) Ltd and Another v Film and Publication
Appeal Tribunal and Others (3589/2018) [2018] ZAGPPHC 438 (27 June 2018).

9. When a labour broker contracts an employee to a client for more than 3

months, the employee is no longer an employee of the labour broker and is
solely employed by the client. Assign Services (Pty) Limited v National Union of
Metalworkers of South Africa and Others (CCT194/17) [2018] ZACC 22 (26 July

10. Does Dr Grace Mugabe enjoy immunity for the alleged assault of Ms
Gabriella Engels by virtue of being a spouse of a Head of State? No. The
decision of the Minister of International Relations to grant her immunity is
reviewed and set aside. Democratic Alliance v Minister of International
Relations and Co-operation and Others; Engels and Another v Minister of
International Relations and Co-operation and Another (58755/17) [2018]
ZAGPPHC 534 (30 July 2018)
11. The termination of Mxolisi Nxasana as NDPP by former President Zuma
in 2013 was unconstitutional, meaning that Adv Shaun Abrahams's subsequent
appointment as NDPP is also invalid. Corruption Watch NPC and Others v
President of the Republic of South Africa and Others; Nxasana v Corruption
Watch NPC and Others (CCT 333/17; CCT 13/18) [2018] ZACC 23 (13 August

12. The State is obliged by section 7(2) of the Constitution to prepare,

initiate, introduce, enact and bring into operation legislation to recognise
marriages solemnised in accordance with the tenets of Sharia law (‘Muslim
marriages’) as valid marriages. The President and the Cabinet have failed to
fulfil their obligations in this regard and such conduct is invalid. The President
and Cabinet together with Parliament are directed to rectify the failure within
24 months. Women's Legal Centre Trust v President of the Republic of South
Africa and Others, Faro v Bignham N.O. and Others, Esau v Esau and Others
(22481/2014, 4466/2013, 13877/2015) [2018] ZAWCHC 109 (31 August 2018).

13. The use of cannabis for an adult in private for that person's personal use;
and cultivation of cannabis in a private place for that adult's personal use is
decriminalised. The order of declaration of constitutional invalidity in relation
to legislative provisions controlling the possession, use and cultivation of
cannabis is unanimously confirmed. Minister of Justice and Constitutional
Development and Others v Prince (Clarke and Others Intervening); National
Director of Public Prosecutions and Others v Rubin; National Director of Public
Prosecutions and Others v Acton (CCT108/17) [2018] ZACC 30 (18 September

14. This judgment is important for any lawyer or client involved in a

contingency fee agreement. The court held against two lawyers who
attempted to charge a client well beyond the 25% stipulated by law. Mathimba
and Others v Nonxuba and Others (2946/2017) [2018] ZAECGHC 85 (18
September 2018)

15. Minister Bathabile Dlamini is ordered to pay 20% of the costs of Black
Sash and Freedom Under Law in her personal capacity. This judgment followed
on Black Sash Trust v Min of Social Development from 2017. Black Sash Trust v
Minister of Social Development and Others (Freedom Under Law Intervening)
(CCT48/17) [2018] ZACC 36 (27 September 2018).

16. The customary law custom of handing over the bride to the
bridegroom's family is not a lawful requirement for the existence of a
customary law marriage when section 3 (1) of the Recognition Act has been
complied with. Sengadi v Tsambo (40344/2018) [2018] ZAGPJHC 613 (3
November 2018).

17. Section 12(1)(a) of the Regulation of Gatherings Act, which criminalises

convening a group of 15+ people without first notifying the responsible officer
of a municipality, even if the gathering is peaceful and unarmed, is
unconstitutional. Mlungwana and Others v S and Another (CCT32/18) [2018]
ZACC 45 (19 November 2018).

18. The Minister of Mineral Resources must obtain the "full and informed
consent" of the Xolobeni community before granting a mining right in terms of
the MRPDA, because the grant of the right would be a "deprivation" as per s
2(1) of IPILRA. Baleni and Others v Minister of Mineral Resources and Others
(73768/2016) [2018] ZAGPPHC 829 (22 November 2018).

19. High Court finds in favour of an RAF claimant who was left without
support after her partner, to whom she was not married but with whom she
shared reciprocal duties of support, died in a fatal car accident. Jacobs v Road
Accident Fund (21427/2017) [2018] ZAGPPHC 830 (23 November 2018).

20. The State (and therefore the taxpayer) is not liable for legal costs
incurred by former President Zuma in his personal capacity in criminal
prosecutions, any related civil litigation or any other associated legal costs.
Democratic Alliance v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others;
Economic Freedom Fighters v State Attorney and Others (21405/18; 29984/18)
[2018] ZAGPPHC 836 (13 December 2018).