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Rescuing your Business
By Benno de Klerk | Posted on 25 October 2012
The Companies Act of 2008, which commenced on 1 May 2011, brought about major changes to South-Africa’s Company Law.
One of the positive changes for Companies that are financially in distress is the concept of Business Rescue.
“Business Rescue” means proceedings to facilitate the rehabilitation of a Company that is financially distressed, by providing for the temporary supervision of the Company and of the management of its affairs, business and property, by a Business Rescue Practitioner. It also entails a temporary suspension on the rights of claimants to take legal action against the Company, or in respect of property in its possession.
Business Rescue also entails the development and implementation, if approved by the creditors, of a plan to rescue the Company, by restructuring its affairs, business, property, debt and other liabilities, in a manner that maximises the likelihood of the Company continuing in existence on a solvent basis or, if it is not possible for the Company to so continue in existence, results in a better return for the Company’s creditors or shareholders, than would result from the immediate liquidation of the Company.
In essence what this entails is that when a Company becomes financially distressed, to the extent that it no longer seems possible to meet its immediate commitments in the short term, instead of possibly losing its operating assets to creditors or being liquidated, a plan can be developed by a Business Rescue Practitioner to save the Company and get it on strong financial footing again or to ultimately secure a better dividend for creditors and shareholders.
“Financially distressed” means that it appears to be reasonably unlikely that the Company will be able to pay all of its debts as they come due and payable within the next six months, or if it appears to be reasonably likely that the Company will become insolvent, within the next six months.
A Company (as well as a Close Corporation), can go under Business Rescue, whenever it resolves to do so, if the Board of Directors has reasonable grounds to believe that the Company is financially distressed and there appears to be a reasonable prospect of rescuing the Company.
Once a Company has adopted such a Resolution and filed such a Resolution with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, the Company must publish a Notice of the Resolution, together with a sworn statement setting out the facts relevant to the grounds on which the Board’s Resolution was founded, as well as appoint a Business Rescue Practitioner.
A Business Rescue Practitioner is a person registered as such in terms of the Act, with the above mentioned Commission.
The Business Rescue Practitioner then takes full management and control over the Company, in substitution for its Board and pre-existing management.
A Business Rescue Practitioner has wide powers in managing and trying to rescue the Company. For example, a Business Rescue Practitioner may remove from office any person who forms part of the pre-existing management of the Company and may also appoint persons into management.
The Business Rescue Practitioner must devise and implement a Business Rescue Plan and must also meet with all creditors to obtain their support for the Business Rescue Plan.
If after performing his/her investigation into the Company’s affairs, the Business Rescue Practitioner finds that there is no reasonable prospect for the Company to be rescued, the Practitioner must so inform the Court, the Company and all creditors and other affected persons and then apply to the Court for an order discontinuing the Business Rescue proceedings and closing the Company into liquidation.
During Business Rescue proceedings, no legal proceedings against the Company or in relation to any property belonging to the Company, may be commenced or proceeded with in any form, except with the written consent of the Business Rescue Practitioner, or with leave of the Court.
In practice this means that whilst under Business Rescue proceedings, creditors may not attach and remove the Company’s property and the property is in other words left in the Company’s hands so as to try and generate income and recue the Company.
During Business Rescue proceedings, directors of a Company, (or the members of a CC), must continue to exercise their functions, but subject to the authority and directions of the Business Rescue Practitioner.
Should a director fail to give reasonable assistance in this regard, the Business Rescue Practitioner may apply to Court for an order removing the person as a director.
Business Rescue proceedings end when the Court sets aside the Resolution or converts the proceedings to liquidation proceedings. Business Rescue proceedings also end when the Business Rescue Practitioner has filed with the Commissioner a Notice of the Termination of Business Rescue proceedings.
Creditors are not to be left out in the dark during Business Rescue proceedings and have a number of rights in terms of the Act. For example, creditors have the right to vote to amend, approve or reject the proposed Business Rescue Plan and if it is rejected, a right to propose the development of an alternative Plan. The creditors are entitled to be consulted by the Business Rescue Practitioner, during the development of the Business Rescue Plan.
Creditors can also approach the Court for an order setting aside the Resolution to adopt Business Rescue proceedings, if the procedures as prescribed by the Act, are not followed.
Business Rescue proceedings is a new concept in our Company Law, which affords Companies which are financially distressed, but where there is a definite light at the end of the tunnel, to go under Business Rescue proceedings which allows them protection, in the interim, from creditors. The aim of Business Rescue proceedings is therefore to save the Company.
As with all other business decisions involving the future of any Company, the decision to go under Business Rescue must be taken timeously, whilst there is still hope that a Company may be saved.
You’ve just landed what should hopefully be your dream job and your new employer has provided you with your employment contract to sign. You want to sign, make it official and celebrate but you are worried that you may be missing something important. What are the key aspects you should be looking for in your employment contract?
Firstly, its important to understand the nature of an employment contract. A contract of employment is defined as an agreement between two parties in terms of which the one party (the employee) undertakes to place his personal services at the disposal of the other party (the employer) for an indefinite or fixed period of time in return for a fixed or ascertainable remuneration, and which entitles the employer to define the employee’s duties and control the manner in which the employee must perform them.
The employment contract is therefore an important document in the employment relationship as it defines and regulates the relationship between the employer and the employee. Accordingly, it is important to carefully consider any employment contract before signing such. There are many potentially important terms that an employment contract can deal with, but these are the top five important items:
1. The nature and description of the job
As an employee you will be required to provide your services to the employer. The employment contract must accordingly specify your job title and a description of the basic requirements of your work. The more specific and clearer your work requirements are defined the better. It is impossible to define each and every aspect of a job, but the contract should provide sufficient clarity to enable you to understand what you are being appointed for and what you will be required to do, including locations you will be required to work at, working hours etc.
2. Remuneration and benefits
An important reason for you taking the job is the good pay and benefits you were promised! These must be spelt out in detail in the employment contract. As an employer is required to compensate you for your labour, your remuneration package (at least at the start of the new job) must be included in the employment contract. The employment contract should detail what your remuneration will be, when it is payable, whether or not it includes commission, whether there will be any deductions, whether an annual bonus is payable etc. Additionally, any benefits you will qualify for, such as medical aid, travel allowances, pension fund etc. must also be included and specify clearly what the respective employee and employer contributions will be.
The term of your employment contract is very important. Employment contracts are typically either permanent or fixed term. The employment contract should specify when your employment will commence and when or on what terms it may terminate. In the case of a fixed term contract, the period of the contract and the options for renewal (if any) should be clearly stipulated. If your appointment is on a permanent basis, it may also be important to note whether your appointment is subject to a probationary period, and if so for how long and on what terms.
Your employment contract should stipulate the various forms of leave for which you will qualify, including the requirements for taking leave. This will include statutory leave such as annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, family responsibility leave as well as other possible forms of leave such as study leave, sabbatical leave, unpaid leave, half-day leave and more.
Your employment contract should specify how your employment with the employer may be terminated, including the notice periods applicable, under which circumstances a party can terminate and what is expected of each party should the employment relationship be terminated. As an employee it is important that you take note of any restraints on your future employment, confidentiality restrictions and possibly even penalty conditions which may be applicable to you on termination of the contract.
Your employment contract is the starting point for a successful and productive relationship with your employer. What you don’t want at the start of the relationship is questions and uncertainty regarding your relationship. So take the time, and where necessary, obtain legal advice to assist you in understanding your employment contract and ensuring that the employment contract provides the right foundation for your future growth in the organisation.
Dr. Gilman was reviewing a composite scan of the brains of 20 pot smokers, ages 18 to 25. What she and fellow researchers at Harvard and Northwestern University found within those scans surprised them. Even in the seven participants who smoked only once or twice a week, there was evidence of structural differences in two significant regions of the brain. The more the subjects smoked, the greater the differences.
Continue reading the main story
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Moderate marijuana use by healthy adults seems to pose little risk, and there are potential medical benefits, including easing nausea and pain. But it has long been known that, with the brain developing into the mid-20s, young people who smoke early and often are more likely to have learning and mental health problems. Now researchers suggest existing studies are no longer sufficient. Much of what’s known is based on studies conducted years ago with much less powerful pot.
A Harvard-Northwestern study has found differences between the brains of young adult marijuana smokers and those of nonsmokers. In these composite scans, colors represent the differences — in the shape of the amygdala, top, and nucleus accumbens. Yellow indicates areas that are most different, red the least. Credit The Journal of Neuroscience
Marijuana samples seized by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency show the concentration of THC, the drug’s psychoactive compound, rising from a mean of 3.75 percent in 1995 to 13 percent in 2013. Potency seesaws depending on the strain and form. Fresh Baked, which sells recreational marijuana in Boulder, Colo., offers “Green Crack,” with a THC content of about 21 percent, and “Phnom Penh,” with about 8 percent. The level in a concentrate called “Bubble Hash” is about 70 percent; cartridges for vaporizers, much like e-cigarettes, range from 15 to 30 percent THC.
High-THC marijuana is associated with paranoia and psychosis, according to a June article in The New England Journal of Medicine. “We have seen very, very significant increases in emergency room admissions associated with marijuana use that can’t be accounted for solely on basis of changes in prevalence rates,” said Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a co-author of the THC study. “It can only be explained by the fact that current marijuana has higher potency associated with much greater risk for adverse effects.” Emergency room visits related to marijuana have nearly doubled, from 66,000 in 2004 to 129,000 in 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Higher potency may also accelerate addiction. “You don’t have to work so hard to get high,” said Alan J. Budney, a researcher and professor at Dartmouth’s medical school. “As you make it easier to get high, it makes a person more vulnerable to addiction.” Among adults, the rate is one of 11; for teenagers, one of six.
Concerns over increasing potency, and rising usage among the young, is giving new urgency to research.
For the Harvard-Northwestern study, published in the April issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, the team scanned the brains of 40 young adults, most from Boston-area colleges. Half were nonusers; half reported smoking for one to six years and showed no signs of dependence. Besides the seven light smokers, nine used three to five days a week and four used, on average, daily. All smokers showed abnormalities in the shape, density and volume of the nucleus accumbens, which “is at the core of motivation, the core of pleasure and pain, and every decision that you make,” explained Dr. Hans Breiter, a co-author of the study and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern’s medical school.
Similar changes affected the amygdala, which is fundamental in processing emotions, memories and fear responses.
What is already known is that in casual users, THC can disrupt focus, working memory, decision making and motivation for about 24 hours. “The fact that we can see these structural effects in the brain could indicate that the effects of THC are longer lasting than we previously thought,” said Dr. Gilman, an instructor in psychology at Harvard’s medical school.
The study was preliminary and small, and attempts to replicate it are underway. Meanwhile, Dr. Gilman is trying to figure out how the findings relate to brain function and behavior.
One day in September, she was assessing Emma, a student who said her smoking — almost every day — didn’t interfere with school, work or other obligations. For $100 to go toward study-abroad plans, Emma politely plowed through nearly three hours of tests on cognitive functions that are or might be affected by THC, like the ability to delay gratification (would it be better to have $30 tonight or $45 in 15 days?) and motivation (a choice between computer games, the harder one offering a bigger payoff). For memory, Emma listened to lists of words, repeating back those she recalled. Next came risk. Would she bungee jump? Eat high-cholesterol food? (“These kids tend to be risk takers, particularly with their own health and safety,” Dr. Gilman said.)
A final test: Did Emma crave a joint? Her response: somewhat.
Dr. Gilman is concerned about pot’s impact on the college population. “This is when they are making some major life decisions,” she said, “choosing a major, making long-lasting friendships.”
Dr. Volkow noted another problem: Partying on a Saturday night may hinder studying for a test or writing a paper due on Monday. “Maybe you won’t have the motivation to study, because there’s no reward, no incentive,” she said.
Evidence of long-term effects is also building. A study released in 2012 showed that teenagers who were found to be dependent on pot before age 18 and who continued using it into adulthood lost an average of eight I.Q. points by age 38. And last year at Northwestern, Dr. Breiter and colleagues also saw changes in the nucleus accumbens among adults in their early 20s who had smoked daily for three years but had stopped for at least two years.
They had impaired working memories as well. “Working memory is key for learning,” Dr. Breiter said. “If I were to design a substance that is bad for college students, it would be marijuana.”
Medical negligence claims: what does the law say
Posted on 11 September 2014
Medical negligence can take place in so many ways, and as a result it sometimes appears impossible for the ordinary man on the street to know when and for what he may claim. In this article we highlight a few examples of possible negligence claims and the different forms of damages that can be claimed in each instance.
Mrs Y – an elderly woman admitted to hospital for the treatment of an airway infection, is recuperating after a theater procedure. A hospital staff member had phoned Mrs Y’s husband and requested that he give telephonic permission for his wife’s heart moisture to be removed. He did not doubt in the medical experts’ advice and gave his permission. The procedure was performed under anesthesia. Later that same afternoon Mrs Y’s family members were informed that a mistake was made. She should never have undergone the procedure as it was in fact intended for another patient.
After closer investigation it was revealed that a misunderstanding between two specialists had led to the incident. Mrs Y had lain with another elderly woman in the same ward, and both were patients of the same physician. The physician had requested a surgeon to take Mrs Y to theater for a procedure during which excessive heart moisture had to be removed from the heart. However he became confused with the patients’ surnames and the wrong patient’s name was provided to the surgeon over the phone.
Mrs X had just, at the age of 39 years, given birth to her fourth child. Ten months ago Mrs X was at the hospital for a hysterectomy. She and her husband already had three children and had decided that because of the financial implications they could not afford anymore children – and had decided on sterilisation. However Mrs X’s gynaecologist had mistakenly tied her round ligaments and not her fallopian tubes, and as a result she was not sterilised and fell pregnant again. She now sues the gynaecologist for the costs of raising the child, with her claim based on the doctor’s negligence.
Child Y lies in hospital with his arm in a plaster cast following an operation to repair his broken arm after he fell from a tree three months ago. With his first visit to the hospital he had been wrongly diagnosed. No X-rays of his arm were taken and neither was he admitted to hospital. His arm had only been placed in a cast and he was asked to return three days later. The cast was later removed and X-rays (wrongly) confirmed that his arm was broken. However he was again not operated on and sent home. Two months later Child Y was at the hospital once again where it was established that his elbow was in reality dislocated, and consequently Child Y was only operated on a month later.
Because Child Y is still underaged, his father is now suing the hospital and the doctor for future loss of earning capability, future medical and hospital expenses and general damage (for Child Y’s pain and suffering, shock, loss of enjoyment of life and malformation) based on the negligence of the doctor and hospital.
In all three instances the doctors and/or hospital staff were negligent by not having acted as a reasonable doctor, specialist or nurse – and thus according to our law’s reasonable man test, were negligent. In all three instances damage had occurred.
Damage kan be divided into two groups, namely Special Damage and General Damage. Special Damage involves claims for medical and hospital costs, as well as loss of maintenance and income or earning capability. General Damage represents damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, decreased life expectancy and malformation.
In terms of both General and Special Damages one can claim for damage that has already occurred or that will occur in future. Medical and hospital costs include costs for future procedures, treatment by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, medicine, etc.
Loss of income of earning capability can be claimed when the person has for some time not been able to earn an income, or if the negligent conduct had resulted in a smaller income in future, or if the person could for example not work until the normal retirement age, or had to get another job due to the negligent conduct.
This type of claim is a specialised claim, and for that an expert in the field of medical negligence must be consulted to determine if there has in fact been negligence – and if so, if any damage had been or will be suffered.
Any claim must be instituted within three years following the negligent conduct. Where the negligent conduct affects the rights of an underaged person, that part of the claim must be instituted within one jaar after the age of majority (18 years of age) has been reached.
Medical negligence remains a specialised field, and although various remedies are available, it is important that a practitioner specialising in medical negligence claims is contacted in advance for advice regarding the correct handling of a claim.
debtor’s survival guide
Debt is an everyday reality for most South Africans. Whether such debt relates to your home mortgage, your car finance, shopping cards or in general to just survive, debt is there and a constant source of worry for many consumers. But worrying unfortunately won’t take away the debt and management of your debt must remain a key priority to ensure you keep your head above water. The law provides mechanisms for consumers to manage their debt, and if you understand and follow our handy survival tips, you can give yourself a fighting chance to survive in the debt jungle.
Survival tip 1: Study the pre-agreement documents carefully
The National Credit Act (‘NCA’) compels credit providers (such as banks and other providers of credit) before entering into a credit agreement with a consumer to provide the consumer with certain pre- agreement documents in order for the consumer to make an informed decision about assuming the credit. For example, if a consumer enters into a loan agreement with the bank, the bank must provide the consumer with a pre-agreement statement wherein the risk and cost implications for the consumer is explained as well as a pre-agreement quotation wherein a complete breakdown of the capital amount, interest and all costs for the consumer are explained in writing.
The quotation is valid for a period of five days, during which the consumer has the opportunity of carefully studying and considering the terms and conditions of the credit agreement. These provisions ensure that consumers’ rights in terms of the NCA are protected by placing the consumer in a position where he understands all the related costs and interests and can decide whether he can afford the debt.
You are entitled to request these pre-agreement documents before entering into any agreement and should do so. If your credit provider fails to provide these, this should sound a serious warning to you to proceed with the utmost caution.
Survival tip 2: Insist that the terms of the credit agreement are explained to you
The credit provider is obliged to explain the terms of the proposed credit agreement to a consumer and to conduct a proper credit assessment before extending credit. If a court finds that the consumer did not understand the nature of his obligations or if it was not properly explained to him, or that the credit provider failed to do a proper credit assessment, the court may set the credit agreement aside.
Should it be found that the consumer was over indebted at the time when entering into the agreement, the court may suspend and restructure the consumer’s obligations, and in that case no payments, no interest, fees or charges can be levied by the credit provider.
Ask your credit provider to explain the agreement to you and take note of obligations explained in the agreement. Also, when asked to submit information for a credit assessment you should be complete and honest with the information provided. This assessment is intended to protect you as consumer, and by being less than honest, you will prejudice yourself in the long run.
Survival tip 3: You can refer the matter to a debt councillor/ombudsman/consumer court
Before any legal action may be taken in respect of a credit agreement, a debtor must be served with a notice (Section 129 Notice) informing him of his rights in terms of the NCA. This Section 129 Notice must inform the debtor that he is in arrears with his obligations in terms of the credit agreement as well as of his right to refer the matter to a debt counsellor, dispute resolution agent, ombudsman or consumer court. No legal action may be taken before such Section 129 Notice has been given. Our courts view this Section 129 Notice as so important that the Constitutional Court recently ruled that a party must not only satisfy the court that such a notice was sent to a debtor, but that the debtor actually also received the notice.
Importantly, once such a Section 129 Notice has been sent to a consumer, the consumer can no longer refer the matter to a debt counsellor for debt review. This implies that a debtor who is not pro-active in seeking the help of a debt counsellor when falling in arrears, will not have the benefit of having his debt restructured once the creditor has issued a Section 129 Notice to him.
Once you start falling behind, seek the help of a reputable debt counsellor. Don’t delay until creditors are commencing with legal action against you before taking action. A debt counsellor can assist you to restructure your debt in a way that can help you manage your obligations.
Survival tip 4: You have the right to be placed under debt review
A consumer who cannot meet his financial obligations can approach a debt counsellor and apply to court to be placed under debt review. The effect of the debt review process is that should no legal proceedings have been taken against a consumer, all of the consumers’ obligations under his existing credit agreements can be restructured in such a manner that suits the consumers’ income.
A further effect of the debt review process is that credit providers are barred from instituting legal action against the consumer in terms of their credit agreements with the consumer. Should a consumer be successful with an application to be placed under debt review or whilst such an application is pending the consumer is protected from legal action against him and the debt review will first have to be terminated by either a court order or in terms of the provisions of the NCA before a credit provider can take further steps against the consumer. Again it should be noted that should a credit provider commence with steps for the enforcement of a credit agreement by sending a Section 129 Notice to the consumer, that credit provider’s credit agreement cannot form part of any debt review process.
These basic tips can help a debtor avoid being caught in the spiral of bad debt and credit enforcement actions. A debtor has rights even when his credit obligations are not being met. However, acknowledging your predicament and seeking help early is key to affording you the ability to access the remedies provided by the NCA prior to formal debt collections processes commencing.
Evicting the Unlawful Occupier: Why the PIE is not always so tasty!
Posted on 02 June 2014
It is now the third month in a row the tenant has failed to pay his rental, and it doesn’t look like this tenant will ever be in a position to make up the outstanding rent. Can you quickly evict the tenant and replace him with a new one, or is it not quite that easy? What does our law say?
In our law the current procedure to evict a tenant is unfortunately not one that has been built for speed, and often appears to favour the unlawful occupier rather than the owner. The Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (“PIE”), was enacted in 1998. PIE drastically changed the landscape in respect of evictions. PIE established a definite distinction between commercial property and residential property, with PIE only applying to residential properties.
According to PIE no person can be evicted from a residential property without a court order that enforces such eviction, and acquiring such court order can be time consuming as it can often take upwards of three months to obtain. When considering that every month you are suffering loss of rental, potential damage to property and you may have to incur legal costs, the costs related to this period can add up quite quickly.
Waiting for a litigious matter to be settled can be accepted as a ‘normal’ risk when renting out one’s property. However, sections 4(6) and 4(7) of PIE, add a further complication to the eviction process:
“4(6) If an unlawful occupier has occupied the land in question for less than six months at the time when the proceedings are initiated, a court may grant an order for eviction if it is of the opinion that it is just and equitable to do so, after considering all the relevant circumstances, including the rights and needs of the elderly, children, disabled persons and households headed by women.
4(7) If an unlawful occupier has occupied the land in question for more than six months at the time when the proceedings are initiated, a court may grant an order for eviction if it is of the opinion that it is just and equitable to do so, after considering all the relevant circumstances, including, except where the land is sold in a sale of execution pursuant to a mortgage, whether land has been made available or can reasonably be made available by a municipality or other organ of state or another land owner for the relocation of the unlawful occupier, and including the rights and needs of the elderly, children, disabled persons and households headed by women.”
This essentially affords the courts a discretion to grant an eviction order or not. The relevant circumstances as given in these sections are the rights and needs of the elderly, children, disabled persons and households headed by women. This means that even though you are the lawful owner of the property you can still ‘lose’ the use and enjoyment of your property if the court finds that these or other similar circumstances are present.
Although PIE is intended in part to help protect these vulnerable and easily exploited groups, it does in effect mean that unlawful occupiers could stay in your property for an indefinite period of time in accordance with what the courts deem as being just and equitable under the circumstances.
PIE does make provision for urgent applications which can dramatically shorten the time to evict an unlawful occupier. In this regard section 5 of PIE determines as follows:
“5(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4, the owner or person in charge of land may institute urgent proceedings for the eviction of an unlawful occupier of that land pending the outcome of proceedings for a final order, and the court may grant such an order if it is satisfied that-
(a) there is a real and imminent danger of substantial injury or damage to any person or property if the unlawful occupier is not forthwith evicted from the land;
(b) the likely hardship to the owner or any other affected person if an order for eviction is not granted, exceeds the likely hardship to the unlawful occupier against whom the order is sought, if an order for eviction is granted; and
(c) there is no other effective remedy available.”
Although urgent relief can be obtained, this places a heavy burden of proof on the owner, and even more so when the vulnerable groups are involved whose hardship in the event of an eviction order being granted may outweigh that of the owner.
So what can a lessor do to evict? Firstly, it is important to seek legal advice and ensure that you have a well drafted lease agreement. Evicting unlawful occupiers with a well drafted lease agreement is hard enough, not to add further complications with a sloppy contract that is vague and ambiguous. Needless to say a verbal lease agreement is never a good idea.
Secondly, and unfortunately, it is important to be patient when dealing with these matters. Sometimes it is may even be beneficial to help the unlawful occupiers relocate, even though this might put you out of pocket in the short term.
Thirdly, landlords should consider requiring a deposit of at least two months rental to cover monies due by defaulting tenants.
Lastly, pre-screening of lease applicants is vitally important. A little upfront due diligence can go a far way in helping identify bad tenants and avoiding time-consuming eviction processes at a later stage.
Posted by Bob in Wise Words / Wise Quotes
I’m a happy person…
If you want to be around me, you can either choose to be happy too, or follow the signs to the nearest exit.
If you deliberately set out to be less than you are capable, you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life.
(Abraham Harold Maslow)
Happiness is not in the mere possession of money.
It lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.
Happiness is home.
And home is not a house-home is a mythological conceit.
It is a state of mind.. A place of communion and unconditional love.
It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.
Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.
Maybe you think you’ll be entitled to more happiness later by forgoing all of it now,
but it doesn’t work that way.
Happiness takes as much practice as unhappiness does.
It’s by living that you live more.. By waiting you wait more.
Every waiting day makes your life a little less…
Every lonely day makes you a little smaller.
Every day you put off your life makes you less capable of living it.
Be happy with who you are and what you do, and you can do anything you want.
Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it, but to delight in it when it comes.
There is no greater power than that of a laugh and happiness is a force which can save a person from the horrors of the world.
If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back.. And a smile costs nothing.
We should plague everyone with joy.
If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing ?
legal wise words
Never trust your father, wife/husband, pastor or lawyer with your investment, the only person with uberrimae fides (ultimate trust) in your life is yourself.
1If I speak in the tonguesa of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Don’t ask a lawyer not to argue, it’s like asking a dog not to bark!
Any lawyer should consider these principles.
MAFIA AT WORK
In 1995 George found himself in the “NEW” South Africa, dis-advantaged times two, suffering from post-apartheid-syndrome, being classified as a member of the white-regime, his wife previously dis-advantaged by himself and apartheid. It was stock-taking-time. He was left with his mother-in-law … farmless, jobless and hopeless.
He called his mother-in-law “Mafia”. Ma Rabia (Nellie), a wise old lady of 77 yrs, was the mother of Nirvana. George and his family … his wife Ayesha, daughter Dhiana, and another baby-girl, Shaazaa, were living with her. “Mafia” had all the connections for business and influence to care for this family.
George became Mr. LAWISE himself in all his dealings … at least he had reached a settlement in his divorce-case with Lenie … he settled for thousand-five-hundred-rand on condition that he signed at the magistrate for the child to be adopted.
He married Ayesha shortly after the divorce … this time lawfull at the department of home affairs … despite his father’s threat to dis-own him. Besides, he was still the owner of 200 shares in the farm Campfornis.
Over the years all the other farms in the Kleynhans-family were sold, only Campfornis was left … 100 shares of Alldays Escape (pty) Ltd were legally transferred by George to his father for monies received … 200 shares claimed by George from Alex, unlawfully transferred by his father to the joint estate of Hendik and Rita, married in community of property.
The real “Mafia” was much closer to him, his mother, Rita, had her own apartheid-agenda about the shares in her family. Her daughter, Elmarie, had moved to the mansion at MagaliesKruin during her divorce. His father bought a pharmacy at Benoni when she qualified as a pharmacist.
Elmarie was Rita’s favourite … the baby in the house … Rita has can-do-no-wrong kind of love … even when she fell in love with a man twice her age, Rita approved of this new man in her life, altogether with his baggage of child-support of eight thousand rand per month.
Andre, hunched-back from previous marriages, caught Elmarie hook, line and sinker to marry him. Rita, Elmarie and Andre bonded at the house in Pretoria as a trinity, who would stop at nothing to take from other people.
George was surprised to hear that his sister had purchased the house that he signed to his parents … knowing how much his father disliked Andre. However his parents and oumaPoppie were moving back to the farm Campfornis … this was his opportunity to visit his father.
George, with nothing to lose, had a devil-may-care attitude going to the farm with his wife and children. Much to his surprise his father welcomed them with open arms … the share-issue no more an obstacle he agreed to withdraw the action against his father … the old man born in 1927, had a stroke and needed all the love he could get.
Over time he grew fonder of Ayesha and accepted her as his daughter … Ayesha visiting mostly at oumaPoppie staying in her own chalet.
His father was sober for a couple of years at Pretoria. Back at the farm he became more addicted to alcohol than ever before, having his first drink when he wakes … non-stop brandy and water until the following day … Rita, happy to supply while in control of all the business … Mafia Rita was in charge of Campfornis.
Tragic was the day when Andre set foot at Alldays and darker the days would become for the Kleynhans-family. His wife, Elmarie, received a mandate from Mafia Rita to purchase prime property at the centre of town, the land, buildings, house and general-dealer business … the buildings allowed space for a pharmacy and filling station.
The reasonable man should think that this would satisfy their greed, after the house at MagaliesKruin, but the wicked-trio has just started … their eyes were sighted on the farm. George was still the holder of 200 shares in Alldays Escape (pty) Ltd … his mother Rita advised him that the 200 shares in his father’s name, unlawfully or not, would be shared between him and his brother Rustie.
George was tired of hunting, however he was all-nights in alldays-escape-mode of alcohol in his bottle … never missed an opportunity to reach the farm with a second-hand car loaded with booze … his father waiting …… most of the time getting non-compos-mentis after a few drinks … Mafia Rita feeding them both with scheduled drugs from the pharmacy at Alldays.
One night George arrived with a new video camera, having fun with his parents on camera, Andre and Elmarie banged the door open … aggressively they grabbed the camera, his sister accusing him of gathering evidence on the ownership of shares. They were watching from the chalet … into the lapa they stood cocky in front of George … one right fist cracked between the eyes of Andre … he dropped like a bag of mealies … the fight was over.
But the war on the farm continued the next week-end. On his arrival, George asked his mother for a rifle on his drive with the spotlight … she handed him a loaded Ruger .375, but insisted that he visited Andre and Elmarie in their chalet before leaving. He was sitting at the table with the rifle pointing up … “bang”, the shot went through the roof … shocked, but nobody hurt, he went for his drive.
On his return the blue lights of SAP waited for him … he was arrested for trespassing, assault and attempted murder. Ayesha, pregnant with their third child, had to rush from Pietersburg to Louis Trichardt. The magistrate agreed to hear the application for bail. At 02h00 in the morning …
George was released on bail … this matter was later withdrawn by the wicked-trio … but the damage was done. From hereon George would come and go as he pleased, hitting them with an ignore.
Mafia Rita never took interest in the birth of Aquila, so George took his wife and three girls to the farm to visit oumaPoppie … at 95 yrs her skin was smooth, her mind clear … it was a day to remember.
Andre and Elmarie were flying high in the blazing sun of Alldays … however the community of Alldays noticed that stock in their shop had run-out, there was no fuel in their tanks at the pumps and the Sheriff was attaching goods for child-support … they even arranged for game to be captured and sold from farm Campfornis.
More pressure came when Mafia Rita moved Hendrik and oumaPoppie from Campfornis to the house at Alldays … they were not well and the farm not safe … Andre and Elmarie had no children of their own, these pharmacists, the perfect couple to look after the old people.
George and Rustie were not informed when Mafia Rita and Elmarie called the estate-services of the bank to revise the last will and testament of Hendrik and Rita … the insurance policies of Hendrik amounted to a large sum of monies payable at his death … Rita and Elmarie became the heirs and beneficiaries of his estate.
On the 29th day of May 1998, his mother phoned George from the private hospital at Pietersburg to tell him that his father was in hospital … he rushed to him, found his father in a stable condition on oxygen … Elmarie explaining to the doctor about his bleeding … the next day George arrived at the hospital at about 10h00, only to find that his father was already discharged.
The following day, on 31st of May, George phoned the house at Alldays at about 09h00 to inform them about his intended visit … Andre answered the phone: “Your father died this morning.”
It was total shock and unbelief … oumaPoppie passed away two weeks before, but there was something mysterious about this death … they were just waiting for the funeral undertakers to remove the body … no friend or member of the family were notified.
George arrived at the house at about 11h00 … the stand deserted, not a soul around … he entered the house from the kitchen … no servants around … down the passage he found his mother sitting on the bed in the corner of the room.
Mafia Rita was too scared to come out of the room … he went to the main bedroom on other side of the house where his father’s body was covered with a white sheet on the bed ……. The shock came when he removed the sheet ………
The face of his father was screaming for help !!! The mouth wide-open, wider than a cat-fish out of water … rigor mortis set in a long time ago, with his right leg to the side of the bed …. It was a no-brainer that this man died alone during the early hours of the morning without any oxygen !!!
George should have called the police immediately but he was overwhelmed by shock and the tragedy of his family. He just helped the undertaker to load the body.
The day after the funeral at Alldays, George was assisting a client at the bank in Pietersburg … when low and behold … Andre and Elmarie were there …
The greedy people were filling the claim forms on his father’s insurance policies. His oblongata was heading for a breakdown … he could no longer protect his family … he filed charges at SAP Alldays and a formal complaint at the Master of the High Court … all too late … the evidence buried.
Andre and Elmarie lost the farm Campfornis to the bank on an overdraft of two million rand … not even Mafia Rita could help them. Significantly a puff-adder snake bit Andre on his leg when he was packing up the farm Campfornis.
The wicked-trio left Alldays in December 2000 for Struisbaai in the Cape, taking the company of Alldays Escape with them.
Elmarie and Andre Brits left their footprints in Alldays, the Kleynhans’ family damages to follow them to Struisbaai Pharmacy, but Alldays Escape remain at Alldays.