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Copyright & A2K Issues - 13 July 2020

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Intellectual Property:

Parliament can uphold the Constitution by passing the Copyright Amendment Bill — again

https://bit.ly/2Zp62jS

Actors dealt a blow as president sends two bills back to Parliament

https://bit.ly/2ZmPfxx

June 16 2020: A Sad Day for South African Youth

http://infojustice.org/archives/42438

 

High Court in Zimbabwe orders woman be recommended for Mvuthu chieftainship vacancy

When their chiefly father died leaving only three daughters, the eldest of them, Silibaziso Mlotshwa, might have seemed the obvious choice to succeed to the Mvuthu chieftainship. But instead her uncle, Saunders Mlotshwa, got the nod from the government's district administrator. This followed a meeting of the Mlotshwa men at which they said a female chief ‘would be an insult’. Now, however, the high court in Bulawayo has ordered that the administrator propose the daughter’s name for the vacant position.

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After the death of Zimbabwe’s Chief Nyangayezizwe Mvuthu Mlotshwa, the meeting called to discuss his successor turned into something else: it became an opportunity for local men to express strong views against women in positions of traditional leadership.

Man, criticised by court for not being open about his wealth, leaves divorce empty-handed

A man who walked out of his family home 20 years ago, after having a number of affairs and giving his wife an incurable sexually-transmitted infection, has emerged empty-handed from their divorce. This, after the high court ruled that he had made no contribution to the support of his family since he quit the matrimonial home. The man had demanded half of the house in which his now former wife lived, even though he is a well-to-do international business man.

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It all started out well for the couple when they married 40 years ago. But things changed dramatically. 

After 17 years together, the man ‘deserted the matrimonial home’ and they have not lived together since then. Some years ago, he made two starts at divorce, but when it became clear that the wife would file a counter claim the man ‘developed cold feet’, said Harare high court judge Alphas Chitakunye. 

Congratulations to Namibia on its achievements in preventing human trafficking

Namibia has become the only African country to make it to the world’s top-ranking list, ‘Tier 1’, in the fight against human trafficking. This has brought the number of countries worldwide, recognised as Tier 1, to 34 in 2020. Countries at this level have fully met the international standards for the elimination of human trafficking.

The 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report, put out every year by the US Department of State, ranks countries in terms of the work they have done to eliminate trafficking. Although reaching Tier 1 does not mean that trafficking is no longer a problem in a particular country, it does indicate that the country concerned has spent considerable energy and resources to deal with it. With the release of the report, US ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson, paid tribute to Namibia’s work on the issue.

Court slams father's attempt to avoid maintenance for his daughter, 6

An apparently wealthy property owner, politically well-connected and a major player in Zimbabwe's guest accommodation industry, is in trouble with the Harare high court. That's because he has been doing all he can to make sure his 6 year old daughter does not get the maintenance the mother says she needs. The man - unnamed to protect the child's identity - 'divested himself of assets' to defeat the mother's claim for a maintenance increase. He formed a trust to which he donated all his income-generating properties.

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This is the story of a particularly distasteful attempt by an apparently wealthy, well-connected and influential property owner in Zimbabwe, to avoid paying reasonable maintenance for his six-year-old daughter. (He is not named here or in the judgment, to protect the child’s identity.)

Directors beware! The court declares Dudu Myeni (former SAA Chair) a Delinquent Director

It is a common principle within South African company law that a company is managed by its board of directors (“Board”). The Board bears the responsibility for the functioning and management of the company and is ultimately accountable for the performance thereof. However, the Board’s collective responsibility does not exclude the individual responsibility and liability of each of the directors.

It is a common principle within South African company law that a company is managed by its board of directors (“Board”). The Board bears the responsibility for the functioning and management of the company and is ultimately accountable for the performance thereof. However, the Board’s collective responsibility does not exclude the individual responsibility and liability of each of the directors.

Uganda's Chief Justice Bart Katureebe retires, heads for his 'village'

One of the most recognisable of Africa's Chief Justices - partly because of his height - Bart Katureebe, has retired on reaching 70, the mandatory age for judges to quit in Uganda. The former Chief Justice had a wide-ranging career before becoming a member of Uganda's Supreme Court, and his legacy includes introducing an electronic case management system for the country.

A number of respected senior judges around the region end their terms of office this year. The most recent of them is Uganda’s Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe who retired on 20 June, 2020.

Namibian President must sign affidavit on exercise of his ‘formidable powers’ – high court

A full bench of Namibia’s high court has found certain of the country’s Covid-19 regulations unconstitutional and invalid. These include regulations aimed at preventing employers from dismissing staff or from forcing them to take leave during the pandemic. The decision made clear to the Namibian authorities that, even during an emergency situation like the present, the constitution must be respected.

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The wide-reaching application was brought to the Namibian high court by seven employers or employer organisations. They lined up 11 respondents ranging from the President of Namibia and some of his top cabinet ministers through to the country’s union bosses.

Apex courts in two African countries try to avoid ‘absurd results’ in labour matters

Time limits on filing appeals and reviews can bring litigation to an abrupt end when they are not observed. But what is a court to do if it is not clear when the time limits actually start. The apex courts of two African jurisdictions have found themselves dealing with exactly this question – when do the days of a time limit begin to run? And the question was made even more complicated because the high courts in both countries had produced two contradictory positions from which the apex courts had to choose.

Read Eswatini Supreme Court judgment

Read Tanzania Court of Appeal judgment

 

By a strange coincidence, the highest courts of Tanzania and Eswatini have found themselves delivering judgment on a virtually identical problem within three days of each other.

Judge slams Kenya's 'shameful' treatment of diplomat

The High Court in Nairobi has strongly criticised the government’s action in deporting from Kenya a diplomat representing Niger. Ali Oumarou, who has been recognised by Kenya as honorary consul for Niger, was summarily deported in August 2019. Oumarou has since challenged his deportation in the Kenyan courts from outside the country.

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Ali Oumarou has lived in Kenya for at least 10 years. He is married to a Kenyan and they have two children, both citizens of Kenya. He is also the honorary consul of Niger in Kenya, with a bar, restaurant and other businesses in Nairobi that employ more than 100 people.

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