South Africa

How a star liquidator fell from his perch

The fortunes of one of South Africa’s most prominent and successful liquidators, Enver Motala, have suddenly and rapidly declined, with his business ethics and behaviour called into question. Now the Supreme Court of Appeal has made it clear: his “disgraceful and dishonest” conduct means that its judges will not overturn the decision by the Master of the High Court to remove him from the panel of liquidators appointed to settle the affairs of companies in liquidation.

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FOR ordinary people across Africa, shaking their heads at the scale of corruption and ethical decline on the continent, the story of South Africa’s former liquidator Enver Motala, once known as Enver Dawood, is like an old morality play, showing the struggle between good and evil and offering a moral lesson.

Woman “unduly influenced” to sign by "bully" partner, so agreement invalid

Three high court judges in South Africa, sitting as an appeal bench, have found an agreement between a now-estranged couple is invalid because the woman signed due to the “undue influence” of her then partner. The agreement would have given the man half the sale price of the woman’s property if their relationship ended – which it did, just days after she signed, when he became violent and she obtained a protection order against him. The man then demanded his share of the property and business as detailed in the agreement.

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Sometimes, to the relief of ordinary people, the courts actually seem to “get it” when it comes to complex inter-personal relations. Or so I feel after reading a decision from a full bench of the high court, Johannesburg. It involved a couple, previously in a romantic as well as a business relationship. The man turned out to be a bi-polar bully, domineering, violent and determined to get his own way, while the woman was placatory, fearful and unduly influenced by him.

Princess not considered for traditional throne - because of being a woman

For all its constitutional commitment to the equality of women, South Africa still experiences difficulties when it comes to matters of traditional leadership. That’s because these are often resolved at the local level in a way that assumes women are ineligible for traditional leadership roles. Take for example the question of who should fill the vacant Vhavenda throne.

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When the traditional mechanisms to fill the Vhavenda throne began work, no-one seems to have given much thought to whether Princess Masindi Clementine Mphephu might be the right person to occupy the position.

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