Notice: Undefined variable: wc_request in /var/www/ on line 140 Fairbridges Wertheim Becker - Attorneys

Archives: 2016

Property in Minerals and Petroleum by E van der Schyff- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

This book is a ground-breaking and comprehensive evaluation of the entire

sphere of mineral and petroleum law as it has evolved and been reformed in

South Africa. The interconnection of property law with mineral and petroleum

law and changing concepts of property and land ownership compelled by

constitutional imperatives is analysed and set out in detail.

The author sets the context:

“The importance of South Africa’s mineral and petroleum resources as a

significant contributor to the country’s economy and overall prosperity is


The distinguished author and Professor of Law at North-West University,

Elmarie van der Schyff BA LLB LLM LLD, deftly takes the reader through the

Common-law principles that shaped mineral and petroleum law in South Africa,

dealing with many complex aspects such as conflicts of interests, co-holders of

mineral rights, the mining of mixed or associated minerals, unlawful extraction

of minerals and the severance of rights to minerals from ownership of land.

Earlier legislation such as the Minerals Act 50 of 1991 is explained, all leading

to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002

(MPRDA). A separate chapter deals with the objects of this crucial act, and the

magisterial analysis by the author of the state-custodianship concept within a

constitutional context. The nature of mineral and petroleum rights in a

regulatory regime in which such rights can now be acquired, transferred or lost

is clarified.

“Different measures are incorporated in the MPRDA to facilitate the

balancing of interests of all potential stakeholders. Ample provision is

made for public participation. The nation’s interest is paramount in a

state custodianship model and the legislature has striven to ensure that

the nation’s mineral and petroleum resources are not exploited by a few,

against the interests of the South African nation.”

Core aspects are covered such as the issue of permits and granting of

exploration rights, reconnaissance permissions, prospecting rights, production

rights, residue deposits and residue stockpiles.

The author points out that right holders do not acquire an unrestrained freedom

to exercise their rights arbitrarily. When rights to minerals or petroleum are

obtained, right holders do not only acquire entitlements. A host of

responsibilities and obligations accompany the granted rights.

Very instructive separate sections throughout the text deal with relevant foreign

law, including the laws of Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, England, Canada and

Australia. Local and foreign legislation and case law is tabled, footnotes are

meticulously assembled, the entire text is indexed, and an extensive

bibliography shores up the academic and practical value of this work, as does

the separate listing of internet sites.

Publishers’ Juta and the author have produced a significant addition to the

already impressive Juta’s Property Law Library. Given the critical importance of

the mineral and petroleum industry economically and politically, and the social,

environmental, labour, health, energy, infrastructure and other implications of

commodities such as minerals and petroleum, this impressive exposition will

be widely welcomed.


Read More >

Criminal Procedure Casebook by Kemp, Watney and Terblanche- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

First published in 2010, this second edition of Criminal Procedure Casebook

combines in an essential toolkit a selection of 102 of the leading judgments of

our courts that illuminate the most important processes and principles of

South African criminal procedure.

Legal practitioners and judicial officers will welcome the bilingual approach

adopted. Each judgment extract is preceded by a summary of the case facts in

English and Afrikaans. These extracts are followed by notes commenting on

the judgment, in both Afrikaans and English. These brief but critical notes deal

with the judgement in its proper context, explaining the relevance and

importance of the judgment. All Afrikaans judgments and Afrikaans quotations

in English judgments are accompanied by an English translation.


This smörgåsbord of cases can effectively be used as a companion to Juta’s

Criminal Procedure Handbook (12th edition) edited by Prof J J Joubert.

Separate chapters include cases dealing with every stage of the criminal

process, including arrest, bail, plea and sentence agreements, sentencing,

review and appeal. This edition also deals with topics such as undue delays in

criminal matters, child justice, the accused’s capacity to understand and

comprehend proceedings, and the impact of international co-operation in

criminal matters.

The co-authors, all Advocates of the High Court of South Africa, are Gerhard

Kemp BA LLB LLM LLD ILSC, Professor of Law at Stellenbosch University,

Murdoch Watney BA LLB LLM LLD, Professor and Head of the Department of

Law at the University of Johannesburg, and Stephan Terblanche B Iuris LLB LLD,

Professor of Law in the Department of Criminal and Procedural Law at the

University of South Africa. Their individual and combined expertise, all

marshalled with the finesse of legal publisher Juta, has produced a true go-to

resource in the dynamic and ever-evolving field of criminal procedure. It has

been said that in criminal law How is as important as What. This casebook goes

to the heart of that truism.


Read More >

Law of Persons by T Boezaart- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

Every individual person is unique in personality, humanity and being. Yet we all

have much in common. We are conceived, we are born, we live and we die.

This book, now in its sixth edition, deals concisely but comprehensively with all

aspects of the law relating to persons, from legal capacity to domicile, from the

protection of the interests of the unborn, to the rights of minors, from the status

of children conceived by artificial fertilisation to the effect of mental illness.

Trynie Boezaart BA LLB LLD, Professor of Private Law at the University of

Pretoria, has authored this work from the publication of its first edition in 1995.

She is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, founder of the Centre for

Child Law at the University of Pretoria, and has served as an Acting Judge of

the High Court. She edited Child Law in South Africa (Juta 2009), and is the

author of the companion to this book, Law of Persons Sourcebook (6th Edition,

Juta 2016).

The transformation of the law of persons is an ongoing process, reflecting

cultural and societal changes. The author expertly addresses these

developments and analyses many pertinent issues such as the parental

responsibilities and rights of unmarried fathers regarding their children. Wellorganised

chapters discuss not only the care and maintenance of children, but

also adoption, birth control, medical treatment and operations, marriage and

much more.

The wealth of academic, professional and practical experience of the learned

author makes this an exceptionally useful textbook. It includes extensive

footnotes, tables of relevant cases and applicable statutes, including the

Uniform Rules of Court, a valuable bibliography and a detailed index. Short

summaries, highlights, and the way the subject matter is placed within the

broader context of private and public law, deftly illuminates the content.


The Law of Persons is also available in Afrikaans as Personereg. It will be

welcomed by students, legal practitioners, and all tasked in the private and

public sector with the many aspects of the protection, care, administration and

advancement of children, dependants, parents and families in need of social,

medical, educational and specialised general support.


The distinguished author and publishers Juta are to be commended for

continuing to produce an ever-valuable resource in this critical area of law.


Read More >

Commercial Mediation, A User's Guide by Brand, Steadman & Todd- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

Many litigants can testify bitterly to the costs, complexity, risks, uncertainty and

unforeseen consequences of traditional litigation. Particularly in commercial

disputes where the parties often require swift finality and certainty, it is not

surprising that mediation has emerged in many jurisdictions as a valuable and

effective option to resolve disputes.

As the co-authors of the updated second edition of this practical handbook

point out, “…there is already a rich body of law and of practical and theoretical

literature to draw on from other jurisdictions.” The clear, concise and userfriendly

text draws on these resources and the personal experience of the coauthors,

all seasoned practitioners, authors and commentators on labour,

employment and alternative dispute resolution.


The processes that take place before and during commercial mediation are

explained. The different types of consensus-seeking approaches and the key

principles of mediation are analysed. Expert guidance, sensible advice and a

sure feel for defusing, constructively channelling and managing the emotions

which are often present in disputes are insightful and reflective of the potential

for achieving balance and voluntary agreement inherent in mediation.

The ten chapters logically take the reader through every stage of the mediation

process. Specimen agreements to mediate are provided as well as specimen

contract provisions for mediation and arbitration. Explanatory diagrams

illustrate the text, footnotes are sensibly kept to essentials, the index is

comprehensive, each chapter is separately summarised, 49 South African

statutes which provide for mediation are listed, the rules regulating the conduct

of proceedings related to mediation in the Magistrates’ Courts are appended,

and useful references to further reading on the subject are included.

The entire package is a mediation toolkit simply but subtly designed and

refined for effective use.

“This book should be accessible to business people, government officials,

community leaders and lawyers who are involved in mediation. I hope that

people in all these areas will embrace the opportunities that mediation has to

offer. When they do, they will find in this book an invaluable guide in that


-Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa


Read More >


The Law of Landlord and Tenant by Sue-Mari Viljoen- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

Despite its title, this book encompasses far more than the traditional common

law contractual relationship between landlord and tenant.

The provision of housing, shelter, and “a roof over your head” for the homeless

has become a critical political and socio-economic issue in South Africa’s new

constitutional dispensation. For close to a century there has been state

intervention in the housing market in various ways, such as rent control and

increased tenure security to respond to demand and political pressures. More

recently, government policies as a means to achieve the constitutional right of

access to adequate housing has had a major impact on the contract law and

property law principles relating to the private law relationship of landlord and



This comprehensive overview of the law of lease lists more than 100 South

African acts, regulations, by-laws and proclamations that have shaped the local

rental landscape. Comparable foreign legislation is also tabled, as is relevant

domestic and foreign case law. An extensive bibliography and pertinent

footnotes underpin the authorities, precedents and resources upon which the

text relies.

The distinguished author, Sue-Mari Viljoen B Comm LLB LLD, Associate

Professor of the Department of Public, Constitutional and International Law at

the University of South Africa, has marshalled the extensive subject matter in

masterful style to create an invaluable source of reference for legal

practitioners, property owners and developers, financial institutions, local

authorities, provincial and national housing departments, and nongovernmental

organisations dealing with the drastic shortage and provision of

housing in urban and rural areas.

Separate, well-organised and lucid chapters place the nature of the landlordtenant

relationship in context, analyse the intricacies of that relationship, its

creation and termination and deal in detail with the respective obligations of the


The notes on relevant foreign law which are to be found in suitable places

throughout the text are instructive in illuminating the relevant aspects of South

African law. The manner and extent to which landlord-tenant law can be

regulated to reach specific socio-economic goals and political aims is

illustrated by the author’s observation:

“The tenant’s obligation to return the property upon termination of the

lease as well as the actual expiration of the relationship has undergone

radical change in the constitutional dispensation through both the

introduction of new laws and judicial developments to provide greater

tenure protection for private and public sector tenants. These

developments are constitutionally inspired to ensure a more welfareorientated

approach to the eviction of vulnerable groups.”

Accolades are also due to publishers Juta and volume editor, Distinguished

Professor André van der Walt, South African Research Chair in Property Law

at Stellenbosch University, who has himself made a significant contribution as

author to Juta’s Property Law Library, most recently Introduction to the Law of

Property (with GJ Pienaar), Law of Property Casebook for Students, and The

Law of Servitudes (2016).


Read More >

Indigenous Knowledge & Intellectual Property by C Ncube and E du Plessis- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

The 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has

brought to the fore the rights of indigenous peoples to the protection of their

knowledge and culture. Established legal intellectual property systems, which

view knowledge in terms of private individually-owned property rights that may

be commodified in a market economy, are however inadequate to protect

indigenous knowledge. It is easier to identify a specific inventor or author, and

to patent a single, bright idea than to do so for unique knowledge developed

over time by many people in an ever evolving community culture.


Indigenous knowledge is usually committed to the memories of people in a

particular geographic location and expressed in folklore, stories, songs, rituals,

dances, and other cultural ways, shared orally through traditional processes

within a specific community. This is transmitted from generation to generation

and is embedded in the history and culture of the community. It forms an

integral part of the social, economic, and technological identity of that

community, and its application and adaptation by cohesive traditional societies

ensures its long-term persistence, sanctity and progress within the natural,

social and economic environment of those societies.

Achille Mbembe, Research Professor in history and politics at the Wits Institute

for Social and Economic Research, has observed with regard to Africa: “…the

existence of deep histories and entrenched cultures of curiosity, invention and

innovation, long underestimated, neglected or misunderstood….In their

extraordinary liveliness and frugality, these cultures of retrieval, repair and

remaking of things are the repositories of tacit knowledge and skills that have

not been the object of proper documentation and even less so of archiving”.

(Mail & Guardian, 2017 January 6 to 12).

This collection of essays by distinguished authors and editors forms a valuable

and timely examination of the complex and daunting challenges of giving

substance to the rights inherent in and flowing from indigenous knowledge.

Various approaches to the protection of indigenous knowledge are assessed

as well as the tension between the desire to exploit traditional knowledge for

financial gain, and the desire to protect and preserve traditional knowledge.

These differing approaches are reflected in draft legislation that has been

formulated in South Africa, but this is a subject that is far from being resolved.

The contributions that this perceptive book offers, drawing as they do from

policy and legislative developments in various foreign jurisdictions facing

similar difficulties, provide significant insights and critical perspectives to what

lies at the heart of transformation and decolonisation.

Congratulations are due to the learnered editors Professors Caroline B Ncube

LLB, LLM, PhD and Elmien du Plessis BA, LLB, LLD, as well as the

contributing authors Professors Pamela Andanda LLB, LLM, PhD, and Sue

Farran BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, and Hojjat Khademi LLB, LLM, as well as

publishers Juta and Professor Hanri Mostert, series editor of Juta’s

Contemporary Legal and Applied Research Series. Recognition of the wider

importance and deep potential benefits of our rich and diverse indigenous

knowledge has been invigorated by this insightful and studious publication.


Read More >

Real Security Law by R Brits- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

It has been said that although South Africans achieved freedom under the

Constitution of 1996, they nevertheless remain in bondage. Progress, for

example through investment in property development, housing and

infrastructure, inevitably requires credit, and creditors require their rights to be

secured in the event of default. This may be achieved in a number of ways

including mortgage bonds, notarial bonds, pledges and liens.

Real security law is where property law and credit law meet to regulate the

rights that creditors have to property belonging to their debtors, either as

agreed upon between the parties or by operation of law. Such rights secured

by creditors facilitate affordable borrowing, investment in property and industry,

and thus the promise of economic prosperity.

In South Africa’s ever-changing socio-economic context, a sophisticated

system of both common law and legislation has evolved to maintain a fine

balance between the rights of debtors, creditors, other parties and the general

public. Financial uncertainty, unemployment, rising consumer overindebtedness

and homelessness are some of the critical factors which impact

on this fundamental area of our law. Without insecurity there would presumably

be no need for real security law.

The distinguished author of this key volume in Juta’s Property Law Library

series, Reghard Brits BComm LLB LLD, Senior Lecturer in the Department of

Mercantile Law at the University of Pretoria, describes and analyses the

current state of real security law in South Africa. Published author of numerous

journal articles on the law of property, he expertly draws together legal theory,

constitutional imperatives, commercial realities and the requirements of legal


In addition to all the conventional forms of real security, such as the mortgage

of land, the pledge of movables, general and special notarial bonds, cessions

in security of debt, the landlord’s tacit hypothec and rights of retention, other

security mechanisms imposed by statue are also fully dealt with, for example

municipal charges, embargo powers and the instalment-agreement.

Readers will be well served by the extensive biography of further sources, the

tables of cases and legislation, both domestic and foreign, the comprehensive

index and pertinent footnotes.

The author expresses the hope that “…the foundation laid in this book will also

serve as a platform for future modernisation – not only to keep up with global

trends and ever-expanding technological possibilities, but to develop a system

that is suitable for our particular socioeconomic and political context.”

This meticulously researched yet expansive forward-looking overview of real

security law will be welcomed by a broad spectrum of practitioners, property

owners, financial institutions and business people, straddling as it does

contract law, insolvency, corporate law, banking and finance, consumer

protection and conveyancing practice, all in the wider context of our economic,

social and political systems.


Read More >

The Law of Servitudes by A.J. van der Walt- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

Servitudes are limited real rights in the property of another person. They have

their origins in ancient systems of feudalism. That is why many servitudes are

agricultural in nature – a right of way across the land of another, the right of the

dominant owner to graze or water his livestock on the land of the servient

owner, or the right to dig out chalk, sand or stones on the servient land for use

on the dominant land.

Other servitudes received from Roman-Dutch law are less rural and more

urban in nature, such as servitudes of light, discharge of water from one

property onto another, and restrictions on building. Some of these have lost

most or all of their significance because of the development of modern urban

planning and building regulations.

An important distinction exists between praedial servitudes which vest over the

servient tenement in favour of the owner of the dominant tenement, regardless

of the personal identity of the owners of either tenement at any given time, and

personal servitudes which also vest over a specific servient property

regardless of the identity of the owner at any given point, but is in favour of a

specific person in his or her personal capacity, regardless of whether that

person owns any property.

This comprehensive study of servitude law is the first extensive work on the

subject for many years. It sets out in detail the current state of the law of

servitudes, including the common law, its development through the courts in

case law, and in legislation.

But it goes much further and evaluates the state of the law in the light of the

social, economic and political functions of servitudes. The constitutional

context and policy considerations are taken into account, bearing in mind

changed circumstances, the unequal distribution of land, urban densities,

housing shortages, environmental pressures and the tension between freedom

and access on the one hand, and security of ownership on the other. The

needs of the modern economy are considered as far as servitudes are

concerned, where both the retention and the relaxation of traditional antifragmentation

controls can be justified insofar as they improve the conditions

for efficient use of land.

The author, Distinguished Professor André van der Walt B Jur et Art Honns

(BA) LLB LLM LLD, South African Research Chair in Property Law at

Stellenbosch University, has included comparative notes throughout the text

on selected foreign law where appropriate which further places the law relating

to servitudes in the context of land use, policy and principles in various

jurisdictions. These contributions on foreign law by Lars van Vliet PhD,

Assistant Professor of Dutch and Comparative Property Law at Maastricht

University, further elevate the breadth and insight of this magisterial textbook.

Separate chapters deal with every aspect of the nature, acquisition and

termination of servitudes, the relationship between the servitude holder and the

servient owner, and the full range of praedial, personal, statutory and, public


Legal practitioners, property owners, financial institutions, urban and regional

planners, local and traditional authorities, legislators, environmentalists and the

mining and agricultural sectors will find this welcome resource invaluable. As

always with publisher Juta, the quilt has been craftily woven and stitched

together with skill and aplomb, keeping the end-user in mind, and incorporating

a comprehensive index, bibliography, tables of cases and applicable

legislation, and pertinent footnotes where required. This book will serve as a

handsome lynchpin of Juta’s Property Law Library.


Read More >


VAT- an introduction by M Botes- reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

Globally, Value Added Tax (VAT) has become the most common indirect

transaction tax system, since France implemented the first version of a VAT

system in 1948. VAT in South Africa currently provides 25.6% of government’s

tax revenue.

VAT is levied in terms of the Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 (as amended). It

potentially affects everything that happens during the day-to-day operations

of the business world. As a result it is a crucial area to understand and master

for almost everyone involved in commercial activity.

This practical and useful handbook sets out clearly, logically and in plain

language how VAT works, and will be welcomed in any business environment

as well as by students and practitioners. Every aspect of VAT is dealt with and

explained, from VAT registration to input tax, from the importation of goods

and services to VAT returns and payments. A joy in navigating the pages is

finding answers to all those pesky questions that crop up, such as exemptions,

the export of second-hand goods, inter-group transactions, zero-rated taxable

supplies, the position of welfare organisations, dispute resolution, and even

detail such as when a motor car is converted to a game-viewing vehicle or a



Each chapter concludes with a number of pertinent questions to test the

reader’s understanding and knowledge of the chapter’s content. Helpful

examples are provided, illustrating the principles involved.

An extensive glossary explains all the most important terminology and

concepts found in VAT law and administration, relevant cases are listed and

indexed, and there is a welcome limit to only essential footnotes, making this

book readable, accessible and less academic.

The author Marlene Botes B Com(Law), LLB, LLM, and publishers Juta are to be

commended for this excellent guide to the mechanics of the South African VAT

system and its practical implications.


Read More >

Civil Society and International Criminal Justice in Africa by H Woolaver & S Williams- Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

The theme of this collection of 13 essays is the contribution of African

civil society organisations to international criminal justice mechanisms.

This includes the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as regional

and national institutions.

Civil society groups in Africa are seeking to utilise international and

domestic legal frameworks to pursue justice for international crimes

committed around the continent and the globe. Such civil society

organisations are already playing a key role in domestic international

criminal justice procedures in several African countries, as well as

before international criminal tribunals, including the ICC.

A prime recent example of this is the order obtained in the Gauteng

High Court by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre ordering South

African authorities to prevent Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who

has been subject to two ICC arrest warrants since 2009, from leaving

South Africa (Southern Africa Litigation Centre v Minister of Justice and

Constitutional Development and Others, 2015(5)SA1(GP)). The

Minister’s appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal

(Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others v

Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Others (867/15)[2016] ZASCA17).

The distinguished contributors include authors from South Africa,

Nigeria, Australia, Uganda, Germany and the USA. The subject is

comprehensively examined from a broad international perspective, with

a focus on Africa and in particular South Africa. Transitional justice

agendas and policies are covered and there are pertinent observations

from the field. There is no shying away from criticism where merited,

and difficulties are realistically addressed.

This authoritative body of work has its origins in a workshop held in

2015 hosted by the Law Faculty of the University of Cape Town in

collaboration with the Australian Human Rights Centre, UNSW

Australia, and with the support of the Australian Research Council.

Former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Richard

Goldstone, who served as Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal

Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, makes some

pertinent observations concerning the media:

“With regard to international criminal justice the media has played

both a positive and negative role. No criminal justice system can

be effective without wide public awareness of what happens in

the courts. Punitive justice depends entirely on such awareness.

Victims of crime require to be informed of the trials of the people

believed to have been responsible for their victimhood. It is

primarily for this reason that in democracies the courts are open

to the public and in particular the media. …All of the international

criminal courts and tribunals have been open to television

cameras… The media have more often than not described

acquittals in international courts as failures of the system. The

contrary would be correct. The fairness of any criminal justice

system should be measured not by convictions but by


The co-authors, the contributors and publishers Juta are to be

commended for making this important collection available to a wider

readership. The insightful perspectives from academics, practitioners

and civil society representatives are a timely guide to a critical

aspect of the quest for justice in an emerging world order.


Read More >

Principles of Criminal Law by J Burchell- reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

This established work on criminal law incorporates major judicial

pronouncements in recent cases on important aspects of the subject,

including treason, common purpose liability, robbery with aggravating

circumstances, racketeering, consensual child sexual experimentation

and dolus eventualis (indirect intention).

Significant new and amended legislation is also dealt with, such as the

Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2013, and

the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Act of 2008.

This Book is a companion volume to Cases and Materials on Criminal

Law (Fourth Edition, 2016) by the same author. Both are available in ebook

form, which will be welcomed by busy legal practitioners and

judicial officers.


In addition to its comprehensive content on the general principles of

criminal liability, there is a detailed exposition of specific crimes, ranging

from abduction to bribery, arson to perjury, extortion to fraud.

In dealing with the principle of legality, the learned author calmly sets

the context:

“The criminal justice system, by resort to arrest, trial and

punishment of wrongdoers, proceeds in the main by way of interference

with basic civil rights of life, liberty and property. In modern Western

liberal democracies these interferences, while permitted, are subject to

the rule of law or, in countries like South Africa, the rule of law and the

Bill of Rights. That is to say, the nature and manner of the interference

with civil rights is regulated by laws designed to ensure that the criminal

law is applied with respect for the civil and political rights and freedoms

prevailing within the society and according to agreed norms of justice

and fairness. The principle of legality constitutes the essence of the

Rule of Law in the context of the criminal law.’

With extensive footnotes and references, full tables of statues and

cases cited and a meticulous index, this is an indispensable and

authoritative resource by the leading academic in the field, with more

than 40 years of legal writing under his belt. Emeritus Professor of Law

and Fellow of the University of Cape Town, Jonathan Burchell BA, LLB,

LLM, Dip in Comparative Legal Studies, PhD, and publishers Juta are to

be congratulated on producing this excellent Fifth Edition 25 years after

the First Edition was published in 1991.


Read More >

Principles of Evidence (4th ed) by P.J. Schwikkard & S.E. Van der Merwe - Reviewed by FWB's Louis Rood

The law of evidence is fundamental to the effective functioning of a judicial

system in a constitutional state. The authors of this magisterial book set the


“Courts normally have to make a finding concerning the existence or

non-existence of certain facts before pronouncing on the rights, duties

and liabilities of the parties engaged in a dispute. In this process of

litigation and adjudication the proof of facts is regulated by the law of

evidence, which is a branch of the law of procedure.”


The 32 chapters and extensive tables of cases, statutes and rules included

deal comprehensively with every aspect of evidence in its broadest sense.

The detailed footnotes, authorities quoted and commentary supplement the

well-organised text, all of which is fully indexed and set out in the user-friendly

and accessible format which is a hallmark of publisher Juta’s stable.


The clear and practical approach throughout this work is illustrated by this


“There are no degrees of admissibility. Evidence is either admissible

or inadmissible. Once admissible, however, it may carry more or less

weight according to the particular circumstances of the case. The

court weighs or evaluates evidence to determine whether the

required standard of proof has been attained. It is only after the

evidence has been admitted and at the end of the trial that the court

will have to assess the final weight of the evidence.”


Not only legal practitioners and the judiciary will find this updated fourth edition

indispensable, but a wider readership will be enthralled by topics such as

character evidence, opinion evidence, privilege, hearsay, confessions in

criminal trials, electronic evidence, the credibility of witnesses, the evaluation of

evidence and judges’ rules.


The co-authors P.J. Schwikkard BA LLM LLD, Professor in the Department of

Public Law at the University of Cape Town, and S.E. Van der Merwe B Iuris

LLB LLD, former Professor of Law at the University of Stellenbosch have had

the benefit of expert contributions from a quartet of other distinguished

academics, advocates and attorneys. First published in 1997, this remains an

outstanding and leading resource and formidable authority in South Africa in

the practice of both civil and criminal law.

Read More >