Thomson Wilks Inc Attorneys (Rondebosch, Cape Town) - News, articles and cooperation


Take water levy issue to Public Protector – Hoffman

2 months ago

The City of Cape Town's proposed water levy should be taken to the Public Protector free of charge, according to Advocate Paul Hoffman SC, a director of Accountability Now, says a Fin24 report. In Hoffman's view, the Cape Town #water crisis ‘can be tested at no cost by complaining to the Public Protector that there is serious maladministration going on due to the 'hands off' approach of the national government and 'the picking of the pockets of ratepayers which is the city’s strategy for dealing with the crisis’. He said the Constitution is very specific that water and access to water may be litigated. ‘The state guarantees an environment that is not harmful to health and well-being in section 24 of the Bill of Rights. Declaratory, mandatory and supervisory relief is claimable due to the current response of the authorities apparently failing to pass constitutional and legislative muster,’ said Hoffman. There is no justification for the drought charge the City of Cape Town wants to introduce to compensate for the loss in revenue from water saving and lower sales, according to the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Capetonians have until tomorrow to comment on the proposed water levy.

Judge lashes department for reckless #litigation

2 months ago

KZN’s Department of Health has received a judicial tongue-lashing, first for an ‘astounding’ lack of care given to a mother who gave birth to a brain-damaged baby, and then for wasting money by fighting her #damages claim, says a News24 report. Acting Judge Sandhya Mahabeer, in a recent #judgment, said it should have been obvious from the ‘joint minutes’ signed by medical experts representing the mother, Nokwanda Charlotte Mqadi, and the department that ‘the claim was indefensible’. ‘But it proceeded to trial anyway,’ the judge said, ordering the department to compensate Mqadi for damages relating to the future care of her son and all legal and medical costs. Mqadi's attorney Michael Friedman added that the costs could be as much as R500 000. The claim – which would be settled either through negotiation or at a future trial – would be in the region of R15 to R20m. ‘What this judgment highlights is that the department litigates recklessly without thought to costs. Also, they prevented this child from receiving treatment which he has needed since birth which is an abuse of his human rights,’ Friedman said.