The Environmental Case Law Index is a collection of judgments from 10 African countries on topics relating to environmental law, both substantive and procedural. The collection focuses on cases where an environmental interest interacts with governmental or private interests.
Get started on finding judgments that are relevant to you by browsing the topic list on the left of the screen. Click the arrows next to the topic names to reveal a detailed list of sub-topics. Most judgments are accompanied by a short summary written by subject-area expert postgraduate students from the University of Cape Town.
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The court considered an application declaring the suspension and non-renewal of the licence by the respondent, null and void. The applicant was further seeking an order compelling the respondent to pay damages incurred as a result of the suspension.
The court was faced with the question of how a court must approach cases brought through motion proceedings, which require oral evidence to be heard..
The court pointed out that while the suspension and non-renewal of the licence could be decided on motion proceedings, the application for damages required oral evidence.
The court found that damages require proof and therefore cannot be decided on motion proceedings.
The court came to decision that the matter be referred to trial and all affidavits and depositions which formed part of the application be used as pleadings in the action.
The court postponed the issue of costs, until the trial.
The court considered an appeal of the judgment handed down in the lower court, granting an interim interdict.
The respondents in the matter argued that a court of appeal should not interfere with the discretion of the lower court, unless compelling reasons exist to do so.
The requirements for an interim interdict are that the applicant must prove 1) a prima facie right. 2) a well-grounded apprehension of irreparable harm occurring 3) a balance of convenience must favour the granting of the interim relief and 4) it must be the only satisfactory relief available.
The court found that despite the requirements, a court has a discretion on whether to grant such a relief. Despite the existence of the requirements, the court held that there are no comprehensive guidelines that can be laid down to prevent a court from using the discretion.
The court after weighing up the delay in the court a quo and the public interest in the project, came to the conclusion that the appropriate relief was one which protected the right of the respondents to claim relief through damages.
The court restrained the appellants from interfering or obstructing any agents, employee or experts employed by the respondents from carrying out tests or investigations for the purposes of establishing and estimating the damages.
The court granted the interim prohibitory interdict.
The applicant approached the court by motion proceedings claiming that the suspension of the digging licence at Kao Diamond Mininq by the respondents be declared null and void. The applicant also prayed for damages and costs of the suit.
The respondents raised an objection on a point of law and submitted that the applicant was abusing court process by using motion proceedings to institute a case where there was a dispute of facts.
The court applied the rule that motion proceedings are preferred where the issues are clear. Further, the court held that matters brought by motion proceedings on disputed facts should be dismissed with costs. The court found that the applicant’s claim was based on issues of fact and law thus the difficulty in choosing how to institute the claim.
The court noted that it was required to examine the alleged dispute of fact and see whether in truth there was a real issue of fact which cannot be determined without oral evidence. Additionally, the court had the discretion to decide disputed claims by motion proceedings in appropriate cases.
It was held that the claim on license suspension by motion proceedings was correctly instituted and the damages claim was dismissed. The court applied its discretion as per rule 8 sub-rule (14) of the High Court Rules and ordered the matter to trial for the resolution of the license suspension. It was also ordered that the affidavits be considered as pleadings and the costs of the application be costs in the trial.
This was an appeal against conviction on grounds that, the trail judge erred when he failed to direct himself on the serious contradictions in the prosecution evidence concerning evidence of arrest of the appellants, dress code, and evidence of the identifying witnesses. The court however, found that the contradictions were minor and did not indicate any falsehood in the prosecution evidence.
Further, counsel for the appellants argued that the prosecution failed to produce the blood stained clothes before court, and that it failed to call the investigating officer. The court found that the appellants had been arrested during broad day light and that they were well known to the prosecution, thus, failure to produce the blood stained clothes did not affect the decision of the judge. Further, it was found that, the absence of the investigating officer did not weaken the prosecution evidence in any way.
Counsel for the appellant further argued that the court wrongly rejected the appellants’ alibi.
This was an appeal against conviction for defilement and sentence of 15 year’s imprisonment and corporal punishment. The appellant argued that he had been wrongly convicted of defilement, and that the sentence of 15 years was too harsh in the circumstances.
From the evidence on record, the court found no merit in the appeal against conviction as the appellant was found red-handed defiling the complainant, and the prosecution had proved to the satisfaction of court that the appellant was guilty of the offence. The appeal against conviction was therefore dismissed.
This was an appeal against judgement and decree. The appellant argued that the learned Judge wrongly held that the appellant was only owed D.N 22,296/= and that an amount of shs 1,133,28/= had not been included, which allegation the court found true, thereby adding it on the claimed amount.
It was argued that the amount that was outstanding on Interim Certificate No. 6 which the learned Judge held to have been 3,535,892/= was less by 4,29,371,97/= as retention money, and that the same should have been added. The respondent did not dispute this allegation.
In this appeal, the appellant sought to challenge the quantum of general damages and interest awarded to the respondents by the High Court Judge.
Counsel for the appellant submitted that the learned judge erred in not taking into account the fact that the incapacity of the first respondent was not assessed at all, and that the award was too high given the circumstances of the case.
Further, that the rate of the interest awarded on the decretal sum was erroneous.
In this appeal, the appellant appealed against the decision of the High Court Judge on grounds that, the learned appellant judge erred in holding that the act of giving out unauthorized and unsecured loans was sufficient to sustain the charge without regard to contradictory factors that no loss had actually occurred and that money had been recovered.
This was an appeal against conviction for robbery and the death sentence on grounds that the learned trail judge erred in law and fact in holding that the appellant was positively identified by the complainant, that the he erred in disregarding the appellant’s alibi, and that the he failed to adequately evaluate the evidence thereby coming to the wrong conclusions.
The appellant argued that there was insufficient light to afford positive identification of the attackers.
The appellant had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death, which he sought to appeal from in this appeal. The appellant contended that the trail judge erred in law when he convicted him without evidence of identification, in relying on a dying declaration without sufficient corroboration, and in rejecting his defense of alibi.
The appellant in this case sought to challenge the judgement of the High Court on grounds that the learned trail judge misdirected herself on the evidence when she held that the appellant had admitted having killed the deceased.
From the evidence on record, it was found that, the statement by counsel for the defense, that, the accused did inflict the fatal blow on the deceased, was not an admission of murder. Thus, this ground of appeal succeeded.
Therefore, the court found that the trail judge had erred in holding that the appellant had admitted killing the deceased.
Further, the appellant argued that the trail judge erred when she relied on uncorroborated evidence of the prosecution.
This was an appeal against taxation order and decision of the High Court in which the matter regarding damages and interests for breach of contract was dismissed with costs. The appellant argued that the fees amounting to 1,500,000/= were too high considering the fact that the appeal had been dismissed.
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The appeal for indicted for murder on five counts, he was convicted and sentenced to death on all accounts being aggrieved he appealed against both conviction and sentence.
This was an appeal against judgement of the High Court on grounds that the trail judge erred in failing to properly evaluate the evidence as a whole and merely relied on that of the respondent.
The appellant sought for costs of the appeal, a declaration that the registration of the suit property was null and void, and cancellation of the respondent’s Certificate of Title.
The appellant argued that he was not registered on the transfer of the suit property as its successor, and that this was not normal practice, and that the respondent was registered instead as the next proprietor of the property.
The appellant was convicted for murder and was sentenced to death, hence he appealed against the sentence.
This was an appeal from conviction, where the appellant had been convicted for simple robbery and sentenced to five year’s imprisonment and ordered to receive five strokes of cane.
The appellant argued that the trail judge erred in law and in fact when he failed to properly evaluate the evidence regarding identification as a whole thereby occasioning a miscarriage of justice. The court however, found that, the quality of identification was good, and that the appellant was rightly placed at the scene of robbery.
Further, the appellant criticized the conduct of the identification parades and argued that the descriptions given by the two witnesses were not so peculiar to the appellant as to make him easily identifiable.