Benaters | Boutique Law Firm in Johannesburg
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News & Insights

Incisive legal news and insights

Plot-and-Plan: Great Option, Just Beware the Building Deadline

There are many benefits to the “buy and build” option when you decide to buy a house, but they come with some important cautions.

One of them is that buyers who fail to build on their plots by deadline risk penalty levies and/or buy-back (retransfer) clauses.  We discuss a recent SCA case illustrating both the risk to buyers of a buy-back clause, and the need for developers to beware of losing their claims through prescription.

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TV Cameras in the Courtroom – Media Circus or Public Right? Lessons from the van Breda trial

The Henri van Breda saga is a perfect example of how media broadcasts and livestreaming from a high-profile trial can stoke public interest and engagement.

But what about the rights of witnesses to privacy and security?  And the accused person’s right to a fair trial?  How should our courts balance these rights against those of the public and the media?  An SCA judgment from the early days of the trial sets out clear guidelines…
 

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Sellers and Landlords: Using an Unregistered Estate Agent

The Estate Agency Affairs Board says that up to 50,000 agents may be operating without the required Fidelity Fund Certificate, and whilst many former agents have probably just closed up shop, there is a chance that the agent who sold or rented out your house for you is (whether inadvertently or by design) unregistered.

We look at how this affects you, with a note to agents on the importance of renewing your Fidelity Fund Certificates and using your EAAB PrivySeals.
 

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When Crime Doesn’t Pay: VAT Fraudsters Behind Bars for 25 Years

Honest taxpayers, particularly those struggling to get legitimate refunds out of SARS whilst its fraud prevention systems grind along slowly, will hope that potential tax cheats take fright at the stiff sentences handed down recently to three company directors. 

They were convicted of submitting 198 fraudulent VAT returns over a 3 year period,  involving a total of R216m, and each director received an effective sentence of 25 years’ imprisonment.  
 

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What Does 2018 Have in Store For Us?

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future” (Niels Bohr, theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner)

The last few years have sprung on us a lot more than their fair share of game-changing surprises.  The Brexit vote, Donald Trump’s election, the rise and rise of Bitcoin … the list goes on.

Here’s something to help with your strategic planning for 2018…

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It’s Wedding Season! Here’s Why You Need an ANC (Whether You Marry Here or Overseas)

Wedding Season is in full swing, and it is essential that you start off on the right foot by sorting out all the legalities beforehand. 

Upfront legal advice and assistance is essential here. We’ll look by way of example at the “international wedding” scenario - at which country’s “marital regime” will apply to you (that’s vital knowledge so don’t ignore this), the grey areas surrounding the “domicile” issue, and a very simple way to avoid any doubt or dispute down the line.

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Employers And Employees: How To Handle Sexual Harassment At Work

The “Harvey Weinstein” and other high-profile allegations, and the resultant #MeToo campaigns on Twitter, have brought a whole new focus onto the scourge of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Fortunately our laws to protect vulnerable employees are strong, and our courts enforce them rigorously.

With the slew of office parties once again upon us it’s a good time to discuss what constitutes sexual harassment in the context of employment, what victims can do about it, and what employers must do about it.

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Selling Property this Festive Season? 3 Tips for a Smooth Transfer

The Festive Season can be a great time to sell property, and to buy it. 

Regardless of whether you are a buyer or a seller, we are talking here about an important and valuable asset – perhaps the most important you will ever own.  So it’s critical to both parties that you do everything you can to make the whole process as professional, quick, smooth and hassle-free as you possibly can. 

We share three tips for achieving just that …

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Don’t Drink And Drive! The Legal Limits, The Risks, And Advice If Arrested

The authorities will no doubt once again turn the Festive Season into the Season of Roadblocks.

We all know we shouldn’t drink and drive, but perhaps it’s good to be reminded of what the blood and breath alcohol limits are, the penalties you face if you’re caught, and of just how easy it is to avoid all that angst and risk.

We’ll also refer you to some good advice on what to do if you find yourself living the nightmare of arrest and detention.

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Your Website Of The Month: 5 Simple Ways To Enjoy Your Break And Not Worry About Work

As we start winding down after a hectic 2017, now’s our chance to take a deep breath, relax and start re-charging our batteries in preparation for a whole new year - 2018.

Whether you’re an employee, entrepreneur or captain of industry, here’s a quick read for you - “5 simple ways to enjoy the holiday break and not worry about work” on the Robert Half blog. The Bonus Tip – “Go Bush” – is our favourite!  

P.S.  If your break plans include a festive feast or two, before tucking in watch this Times Magazine video “Eating Too Quickly May Be Bad for Your Health”.

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