Monthly Archives: May 2016

Geldigheid van ʼn huweliksvoorwaardekontrak

A2_BDie opstel en ondertekening van ʼn huweliksvoorwaardekontrak moet versigtig benader word. Benewens die feit dat die inhoud feitelik korrek moet wees, moet al die nodige bepalings daarin vervat word om die kontrak geldig te maak. Indien daar versuim om ʼn huweliksvoorwaardekontrak op te stel, mag dit lei daartoe dat ʼn huwelik as binne gemeenskap van goedere beskou word, selfs al was dit nie die partye se bedoeling toe die kontrak gesluit was nie.

Prokureurs en Notarisse word vertrou met die opstelling van ʼn huweliksvoorwaardeskontrak. Dit is ‘n kontrak wat deur die betrokke partye onderteken word om die huweliksbedeling te reguleer. As ‘n paartjie nie ‘n huweliksvoorwaardeskontrak teken nie, sal die huweliksbedeling binne gemeenskap van goedere wees. ʼn Huweliksvoorwaardeskontrak wys daarop dat die huweliksbedeling buite gemeenskap van goedere is. Die partye moet dus spesifiek stipuleer of hulle die aanwasbedeling op hul huwelik van toepassing wil hê al dan nie.

Die saak van B v B, soos in die Appèlhof voorgekom, bespreek die belang van die nodige bepalings in ʼn huweliksvoorwaardeskontrak wat tot die sluit van ‘n geldige kontrak lei. In hierdie geval was daar geen bepalings gestipuleer ten opsigte van enige van die bates wat in die huweliksvoorwaardeskontrak uiteengesit is nie. Die bates was ook behoorlik geïdentifiseer nie. In B v B het die hof gestel dat indien die bepalings van ‘n kontrak so vaag en onsamehangend is, en dit onmoontlik is om ‘n sinvolle konstruksie daarvan te maak, moet die kontrak as nietig beskou word as gevolg van vaagheid.

Ingevolge artikel 6(1) van die Wet op Huweliksgoedere kan ‘n party tot ‘n voorgenome huwelik, wat nie die waarde in die kontrak uiteensit vir die doel om ʼn bewys te lewer van die bates van sy of haar boedel teen die tyd van die aanvang van die huwelik nie, dit binne ses maande van die sluiting van die huwelik in ‘n verklaring bevestig met behulp van ’n notaris. Ingevolge artikel 6 (4) van die Wet op Huweliksgoedere word die netto waarde van die boedel van ‘n gade as nul geag ten tye van die huwelik, indien die betrokke party nie die bewys betyds lewer nie. In effek is so ‘n kontrak geldig, maar dit sal beteken dat ʼn huwelik as binne gemeenskap van goederebeskou, aangesien daar niks van die oploping uitgesluit is nie.

As ‘n kontrak egter teenstrydig en onsamehangend is in ander opsigte, kan dit nie as ‘n geldige kontrak nie beskou word nie, aangesien daar geen sekerheid is oor die betekenis van die kontrak en wat die partye beoog om te bereik nie. Dit beteken dat die kontrak nie die Hof in staat stel om uitvoering te gee aan die bedoeling van die partye ten die tye van die sluiting van die kontrak nie.

Die gevolg van so ‘n kontrak is dat die huweliksvoorwaardeskontrak nietig verklaar sal word as gevolg van onsamehangendheid en dat die huweliksbedeling ingevolge die Wet op Huweliksgoedere in gemeenskap van goedere sal wees.

Partye word dus aangemoedig om hul huwelikskontrakte deeglik te lees en seker te maak dat hulle die bepalings daarvan verstaan en dat die kontrak hul bedoelings uitbeeld, sonder enige verdere verduidelikings of bewyse.

B v B (952/12) [2014] ZASCA 14 (24 Maart 2014)

Wet op Huweliksgoedere 88 van 1984

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

Validity of Antenuptial Contracts

A2_BOne must be careful when drafting and signing an Antenuptial Contract. Aside from ensuring that the contents is all correct, one must also ensure that all the necessary provisions are contained therein to make the contract valid. The consequences of neglecting to do so may result in a marriage in community of property even though the parties had no intention of this at the time of their marriage.

Attorneys are often trusted with the task of drafting an Antenuptial Contract. This is a contract, which one signs to regulate the property regime of a marriage. If a couple does not sign, an Antenuptial Contract then the marital property regime will be that of in community of property. The presence of an Antenuptial Contract means that the marital property regime is that of out of community of property and the parties must specifically stipulate whether they would like the accrual system to apply to their marriage or not.

The importance of ensuring that all the necessary provisions are contained in the Antenuptial Contract to result in a valid contract was discussed in the 2014 Supreme Court of Appeal Case of B v B[1]. In this case, no values were stated in respect of any of the assets listed in the Antenuptial Contract and they were also not properly identified. In B v B the court stated that if the terms of a contract are so vague and incoherent as to be incapable of a sensible construction then the contract must be regarded as void for vagueness.[2]

According to Section 6(1) of the Matrimonial Property Act[3] ,a party to an intended marriage which does not, for the purpose of proof of the value of his or her estate at the time of the commencement of the marriage, declare the value in the contract, then he or she may do so within six months of the marriage in a statement attested to by a notary. If this is not done, according to Section 6(4) of the Marital Property Act, the net value of the estate of a spouse is then deemed to be nil at the time of the marriage. In effect, such a contract is valid but it will effectively render the marriage in community of property since nothing was excluded from the accrual.

However, if a contract is contradictory and incoherent in other respects then it cannot be seen as a valid contract since there is no certainty as to the meaning of the contract and what the parties seek to achieve. This means that the contract would not embody terms that would enable to court to give effect to the intention of the parties at the time the contract was concluded.

The result of such a contract is that the Antenuptial Contract would be void for vagueness and that the marital property regime would be the default position according to the Marital Property Act, which is in community of property.

Therefore, parties are encouraged to read their contracts thoroughly and ensure that they understand the terms thereof and that the contract embodies their intentions without any further explanations or evidence.

[1] (952/12) [2014] ZASCA 14 (24 March 2014).

[2] B v B (952/12) [2014] ZASCA 14 (24 March 2014) par 7.

[3] 88 of 1984.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Onderhoud – Nie net vir minderjariges nie

A1_BWanneer die woord “onderhoud” genoem word, dink baie mense aan vroue wat onderhoud vir minderjarige kinders eis of alternatiewelik, vroue wat vir onderhoud van hul gewese mans eis. In hierdie artikel sal ons egter ‘n ouer se onderhoudseis teen hul volwasse kinders bespreek.

Mike Larry het ‘n dagvaarding van die Onderhoudshof ontvang om drie weke later vir ‘n onderhoudsaak te verskyn, maar Mike het geen vrou of kinders nie en het verward gewonder of die Hof dalk ‘n fout gemaak het. Mike het die Onderhoudshof bygewoon om uit te vind of daar dalk ‘n fout in die dokumentasie was. Wat hy uitgevind het, het sy moed laat sak en kort daarna sy bankrekening ook.

Mike se vader, Jermaine, het ‘n aansoek voor die Onderhoudshof gebring vir onderhoud vanaf Mike, aangesien hy geen werk gehad het nie en dus geen inkomste nie. Mike het sy prokureur gevra of dit moontlik is, en die antwoord was bevestigend.

Volgens die Wet op Onderhoud 99 van 1998 het ouers en kinders ‘n wedersydse onderhoudsplig. ’n Kind het ‘n plig om sy ouers en grootouers te onderhou, maar dit is altyd onderworpe aan die reël dat ondersteuning eerste van die naaste familielid geëis moet word. Die basis van ‘n kind se plig om sy ouers te onderhou is gegrond in die gevoel van pligtigheid of filiale jammerte (met betrekking tot of vanaf ‘n seun of dogter). In sekere omstandighede kan selfs ‘n minderjarige kind ‘n plig hê om sy ouers te onderhou. ‘n Ouer wat onderhoud van ‘n kind eis, moet sy of haar behoefte bewys, asook die kind se vermoëns om hom/haar te ondersteun. ‘n Strenger maatstaf van nood is op ouers as kinders toegepas; hulpbehoewendheid van ‘n ouer is hiervoor ‘n vereiste.

Die owerhede het nie heeltemal duidelikheid oor bogenoemde nie. In Oosthuizen v Stanley het die Hof van die “kwaliteit en toestand van die persone wat ondersteun moet word” gepraat. In dieselfde saak is daarop gedui dat waar ‘n ouer ondersteun moet word, dit nie net die ouer se eie behoeftes is nie, maar ook dié van die ouer se afhanklikes wat in ag geneem moet word. In van Vuuren v Sam Rabie het die regter na dieselfde maatstaf verwys, maar het beklemtoon dat die ondersteuning van ouers tot die basiese behoeftes beperk moet word, naamlik kos, klere, skuiling, medisyne en sorg in tye van siekte. Ter ondersteuning hiervan het die Regter verwys na Surdus v Surdus en gesê dat, in die beoordeling van die kwaliteit en toestand van die persoon wat ondersteun moet word se lewe, dit hoofsaaklik sy huidige en nie sy vorige situasie is nie wat oorweeg moet word, maar dat die Regter sy eie diskresie moet uitoefen in die bepaling hiervan. Byvoorbeeld, ‘n ouer wat voorheen ryk was en nou deur moeilike tye gegaan het, moenie verplig wees om arm-manskos te eet nie. Daar is aangevoer dat die maatstaf van behoefte nie so streng vertolk moet word dat dit die hele konsep van ‘n wedersydse verpligting vernietig nie.

Die volgende kan ook oorweeg word wanneer ‘n ouer aansoek doen om onderhoud vanaf sy/haar kind:

1.  Broers en susters;

2.  Ekstra inkomste; en

3.  Lewenskwaliteit.

In terme van die gemenereg het ‘n buite-egtelike kind ‘n plig om sy/haar ma te onderhou, maar of die pa ondersteun moet word, moet nog beslis word. Daar kan egter aangevoer word dat ‘n buite-egtelike kind aanspreeklik kan wees om sy/haar pa te onderhou in terme van Artikel 16 van die Kinderwet 38 van 2005.

Ten slotte, as jy voel dat jy onregverdig vir ‘n onderhoudseis geteiken word, raadpleeg beslis jou prokureurs sodat hulle jou kan inlig oor jou regte en verantwoordelikhede.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

Maintenance – Not only for children

A1_BWhen the word “maintenance” is mentioned, many people think of women claiming maintenance for minor children, or alternatively, women claiming maintenance from their ex-husbands. However, in this article we will deal with parents claiming maintenance from their adult children.

Mike Larry received a summons from the Maintenance Court to appear three weeks later for a maintenance matter, however Mike had no children or wife and was quite confused, thinking that perhaps the Court had made a mistake. Mike attended the Maintenance Court in order to enquire whether there had been a mishap in the documentation. However, what Mike found out made his heart sink, and soon his bank account, too.

Mike’s father, Jermaine, had made an application at the Maintenance Court for maintenance from Mike as he had no job and therefore no income. Mike asked his lawyer whether this was even possible and the answer was affirmative.

According to the Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, parents and children have a reciprocal duty of support. A child has a duty to support his/her parents and grandparents, but always subject to the rule that support must be claimed from one’s nearest relatives first. The basis of a child’s duty to support their parents is the sense of dutifulness or filial piety (relating to or due from a son or daughter). In certain circumstances even minor children may have to support their parents. As always, the criteria which must be present is a need on the part of the person to be maintained, and the ability to support on the part of the person from whom support is claimed. A parent who claims support from a child must prove his or her need and the child’s ability to support the parent. As mentioned above, a more stringent criterion of need is applied to parents than to children; indigence on the part of the parent is stated to be a requirement.

Our authorities are not entirely clear on this point. In Oosthuizen v Stanley the court spoke of “the quality and condition of the persons to be supported”. In the same case it was pointed out that where a parent must be supported it is not only the parent’s own needs but also those of the parent’s dependents which must be considered. In Van Vuuren v Sam Rabie, the Judge referred to the same criterion but stressed that the support of parents must be confined to the basic needs which are food, clothing, shelter, medicine and care in times of illness. Relying on the case of Surdus v Surdus, the Judge said that, in assessing the quality and condition of life of the person to be supported, it is primarily his present, not his past situation which is considered, but that in assessing these the Judge should exercise his discretion. For instance, a previously wealthy parent who has fallen on hard times should not be compelled to eat peasants’ food. It has been argued that the criterion of need should not be so narrowly interpreted here as to destroy the whole concept of a reciprocal obligation.

However, the following can also be considered when a parent makes an application for maintenance from his/her child:

1. Siblings;

2. Extra income; and

3. Quality of living.

In terms of the common law an extramarital child has a duty to support his/her mother, but whether or not he/she must support his/her father has yet to be decided. It can, however, be argued that an extramarital child would be liable to maintain his/her father in terms of Section 16 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005.

In conclusion, if you feel you are being unfairly targeted for a maintenance claim, be sure to consult with your attorneys so they can inform you of your rights and responsibilities.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Is ‘n handelsbeperkingsklousule altyd geldig en afdwingbaar?

A2_BIn die verlede was handelsbeperkingsooreenkomste ongeldig en onafdwingbaar, tensy die werkgewer kon bewys dat die ooreenkoms billik is. Gelukkig vir werkgewers het hierdie situasie verander.

Wat is ‘n handelsbeperking?

‘n Ooreenkoms wat ‘n party se reg om te handel of ‘n besigheid of beroep te bedryf, beperk op sodanige manier of met sodanige partye as wat hy/sy goeddink, is ‘n handelsbeperking.

‘n Werkgewer sal tipies in die dienskontrak of ‘n aparte ooreenkoms ‘n handelsbeperkingsklousule insluit wat gewoonlik van krag word wanneer die kontrak getermineer of die besigheid of praktyk verkoop word.

Hoekom is hierdie tipe klousule omstrede?

Dit is omstrede omdat daar ‘n botsing van fundamentele waardes is: aan die een kant is daar ‘n algemene kontrakteursvryheid wat daarop staatmaak dat partye by hul kontrakte gehou moet word, en aan die ander kant is daar handelsvryheid wat ‘n erkende reg volgens die grondwet is.

Soos ander ooreenkomste is handelsbeperkings prima facie geldig en afdwingbaar. Voorheen het die werkgewer die bewyslas gehad om te bewys dat die implementering van die handelsbeperkingsklousule billik en in openbare belang is. Die situasie is nou omgekeerd en die werknemer het nou die bewyslas om te bewys dat afdwinging van die beperking teen openbare belang sal indruis.

‘n Onredelike beperking sal teen die openbare belang wees en dus onafdwingbaar. Die redelikheid van ‘n handelsbeperkingsklousule word beoordeel op die basis van breë belange van die gemeenskap en die belange van die individu self.

Redelikheid inter partes hang van verskeie faktore af:

  • Het die werkgewer ‘n beskermingswaardige belang?
  • Geografiese omvang en tydperk van die handelsbeperking (moontlikheid van gedeeltelike afdwinging)
  • Toegewing deur die werknemer in die kontrak dat die beperking redelik is, en ongelyke bedingingsvermoë van die verskillende partye (hierdie faktore dra min gewig)

Voorbeelde van beskermingswaardige belange is vertroulike inligting, handelsgeheime, kliëntverhoudings en -lyste, en die welwillendheid van die besigheid. Dit sluit egter nie planne om die kompetisie te elimineer en die belegging van tyd en kapitaal in die opleiding van die werknemer in nie.

Dit is nie genoeg dat vertroulike inligting net as sulks beskou word nie. Vir inligting om as vertroulik beskou te word, moet dit kommersieel nuttig wees, met ander woorde dit moet toegepas kan word in die industrie, ekonomiese waarde hê vir die persoon wat dit wil beskerm, en slegs bekend wees aan ‘n beperkte aantal persone.

Die bewys van handelsverbintenisse sal slegs relevant wees indien die werknemer toegang het tot die werkgewer se kliënte en sodanige verhouding met die werkgewer se kliënte het dat dit hom/haar in staat sou stel om so ‘n invloed oor hulle te hê dat die kliënte hom/haar sal volg indien hy/sy die diens van die werkgewer verlaat. Die volgende faktore is hier van belang:

  • die pligte van die werknemer;
  • die persoonlikheid van die werknemer;
  • die frekwensie en tydsduur van die werknemer se kontak met die kliënte;
  • sy/haar invloed or die kliënte;
  • aard van sy/haar verhouding met die klënte (mate van aanhang, omvang van hul vertroue in hom/haar);
  • vlak van kompetisie tussen die mededingende besighede;
  • die tipe produk wat verkoop word; en
  • bewyse dat kliënte verloor is as gevolg van die werknemer se vertrek.

Met verwysing tot die bogenoemde moet die volgende vrae gevra word:

1. Is daar ‘n belang van party A wat waardig is om beskerm te word?

2. Word daardie belang benadeel deur party B?

3. Indien wel, weeg die belang van party A kwalitatief en kwantitatief meer teenoor die belang van party B, wat sal inhou dat daardie party ekonomies onaktief en onproduktief sal wees?

4. Is daar enige openbare beleid wat vereis dat die handelsbeperking gehandhaaf of van die hand gewys word?

Al is die handelingsbeperkingsooreenkoms billik inter partes, mag dit nog steeds beslis word dat dit nie in openbare belang afgedwing moet word nie.

Bronnelys:

Basson v Chilwan & Others 1993 (3) SA 742 (A)

Sunshine Records (Pty) Ltd v Flohing & Others 1990 (4) SA 782 (A)

Magna Alloys & Research (SA) (Pty) Ltd v Ellis 1984 (4) SA 874 (A)

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

Are restraint of trade agreements always valid and enforceable?

A2_BHistorically restraint of trade agreements were void and unenforceable unless the employer could prove that it was a reasonable agreement entered into between the parties. Fortunately for employers the position in our law has changed.

What are restraint of trade agreements?

 An agreement that seeks to restrict a party’s right to carry on a trade, business or profession in such manner or with such persons as he/she sees fit, is restraint of trade.

Restraint of trade clauses are most commonly found in employment and partnership contracts, which usually takes effect after termination of the contract, or in sale of a business or practice.

Why are they controversial?

They are controversial because there is a clash of fundamental values: on the one hand there is freedom or sanctity of contract which relies on agreements being honoured, and on the other hand there is freedom of trade which is a constitutionally recognised right.

As with other contracts, restraint of trade agreements are presumed to be prima facie valid and enforceable. Whereas the onus had earlier been on the employer to prove that implementation of restraint of trade was fair and in public interest, the onus is now on the employee to show why enforcement in the particular circumstances would be against the public interest.

An unreasonable restraint is contrary to the public interest and hence unenforceable. The reasonableness of a restraint of trade clause or agreement is judged on two bases: broad interests of community, and interests of the parties themselves.

Reasonableness inter partes depends on a variety of factors:

  • Does the employer have a protectable interest?
  • Area and duration of restraint (possibility of partial enforcement)
  • Concession by the employee in the contract that restraint is reasonable, and inequality of bargaining power of parties (these factors carry little weight)

Examples of protectable interests are confidential information, trade secrets, customer connections and lists, and goodwill of the business. However, it does not include interest in the elimination of competition, and the investment of time and capital in the training of the employee.

It is not sufficient simply to label confidential information as such. In order to be confidential the information must be commercially useful, in other words capable of application in trade or industry, have economic value to the person seeking to protect it, and be known only to a restricted number of people.

With regards to trade connections, it will only be relevant when the employee has close working relations with the customers, to such an extent that there is a danger of him/her taking them with him/her when he/she leaves the business. Relevant factors here include the following:

  • duties of the employee;
  • his/her personality;
  • frequency and duration of the contact with the customers;
  • his/her influence over them;
  • nature of his/her relationship with them (degree of attachment, extent of their reliance on him/her);
  • level of competition between the rival businesses;
  • type of product sold; and
  • evidence that customers were lost when he/she left the business.

With reference to the above the following questions must be asked:

1. Does party A have an interest deserving of protection?

2. Is such interest being prejudiced by party B?

3. If so, how does A’s interest weigh up qualitatively and quantitatively against B’s interest in not being economically inactive and unproductive?

4. Is there some broader facet of public policy that requires the enforcement or rejection of the restraint?

If restraint of trade agreement is reasonable inter partes, it may still be unenforceable if it is damaging to the public interest for a reason not peculiar to the parties.

Sources:

Basson v Chilwan & Others [1993] 3 SA 742

Sunshine Records (Pty) Ltd v Flohing & Others 1990 (4) SA 782 (A)

Magna Alloys & Research (SA) (Pty) Ltd v Ellis 1984 (4) SA 874 (A)

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

Wie mag as direkteur aangestel word?

A1_BSekere mense kom nie in aanmerking om as direkteure van ‘n maatskappy aangestel te word nie. In hierdie artikel kyk ons na wie van direkteurskap uitgesluit word, sowel as die gevolge van die optrede van sodanige persoon wat as direkteur optree.

Volgens artikel 69(3) van die Maatskappywet 71 van 2008, mag ‘n maatskappy nie wetend ‘n gediskwalifiseerde persoon aanstel as direkteur nie. Dit sluit in die situasie waar die maatskappy redelikerwys moes geweet het dat die persoon gediskwalifiseer is.

In artikel 68(7) vind ons ‘n lys van persone op wie daar ‘n absolute verbod gelê is, wat insluit ‘n regspersoon, minderjariges of enige persoon wat gediskwalifiseer is in terme van die Memorandum van Oprigting. Artikel 69(8) lys persone wat tydelik onbevoeg is om direkteur te wees, wat insluit iemand wat deur die hof verbied is, iemand wat deur die hof as ‘n misdadiger verklaar is, ‘n ongerehabiliteerde insolvente persoon wat op grond van wangedrag uit ‘n vertrouensamp verwyder is na oneerlikheid, en persone wat skuldig bevind is aan ‘n kriminele oortreding en wat tronkstraf opgelê is sonder die keuse van ‘n boete, of ‘n hoër boete opgelê is omdat hulle skuldig is aan enige vorm van oneerlikheidsmisdaad. [1]

‘n Vraag wat hier ontstaan, is wat die effek van die optrede van ‘n verbode direkteur is. Artikel 69(4) bepaal dat ‘n persoon onmiddellik ophou om ‘n direkteur te wees indien hy gediskwalifiseer word, maar artikel 71(3) bepaal aan die ander kant dat, indien ‘n aandeelhouer beweer dat ‘n persoon gediskwalifiseer is, die persoon deur ‘n direksiebesluit verwyder moet word voordat hy ophou om ‘n direkteur te wees. Dit beteken dat enige optrede wat deur so ‘n persoon gedoen is, geldig en bindend op die maatskappy sal wees ten spyte van sy onbevoegdheid, tensy die derde party wat in die optrede betrokke was, bewus was van die feit dat die persoon gediskwalifiseer was.[2]

Daar is ses gronde ingevolge artikel 162(5) (a)-(f) vir ‘n misdadigheidsbevel. ‘n Hof moet ‘n misdadigheidsbevel maak as die persoon:

1. ingestem het om as direkteur te dien, of in die hoedanigheid van ‘n direkteur of voorgeskrewe beampte, terwyl hulle nie gekwalifiseerd is om ‘n direkteur te wees nie;

2. opgetree het op ‘n wyse wat in stryd is met ‘n proefbevel;

3. sy posisie erg misbruik het;

4. persoonlike voordeel uit inligting of ‘n geleentheid verkry, of opsetlik of deur growwe nalatigheid skade berokken aan die maatskappy of ‘n filiaal;

5. opgetree het op ‘n wyse wat neerkom op growwe nalatigheid, opsetlike wangedrag of verbreking van vertroue; of opgetree het op ‘n wyse wat in artikel 77(3) (a), (b) of (c) beoog is;

6. herhaaldelik persoonlik onderworpe was aan ‘n voldoeningskennisgewing of soortgelyke afdwingingsmeganisme;

7. ten minste twee keer skuldig bevind is aan ‘n misdaad, of onderwerp is aan ‘n administratiewe boete of soortgelyke straf; of

8. binne ‘n tydperk van vyf jaar ‘n direkteur van ‘n maatskappy of ‘n bestuurslid van ‘n beslote korporasie was, of beheer of deelgeneem het aan die beheer van ‘n regspersoon wat skuldig bevind is aan ‘n misdryf, of ‘n boete of soortgelyke straf ontvang het. [3] & [4]

Wanneer iemand as ‘n misdadiger in terme van artikel 162(5) (a) of (b) verklaar is, is dit onvoorwaardelik en vir die leeftyd van die persoon. Wanneer iemand as ‘n misdadiger in terme van artikel 162(5) (c)-(f) verklaar is, is dit tydelik en vir ‘n minimum van 7 jaar. [5]

Dit is dus baie belangrik by die aanstelling van ‘n direkteur om seker te maak dat hulle in terme van die nuwe Maatskappywet bevoeg is en daarom moet ‘n mens behoorlik navorsing doen oor ‘n persoon voor hulle aanstelling as direkteur van ‘n maatskappy. As jy dit nie doen nie, sal die maatskappy waarin jy aandele hou moontlik die gevolge van hierdie ongekwalifiseerde persoon se dade moet dra.

Verwysingslys:

  • Maatskappywet 71 van 2008
  • FHI Cassim et al Contemporary Company Law (2012)

[1] Artikel 69(7) – (8) van die Maatskappywet 71 van 2008.

[2] Artikel 69(4) en 71(3) van die Maatskappywet 71 van 2008.

[3] Artikel 162(5) (a)-(f) van die Maatskappywet.

[4] FHI Cassim et al Contemporary Company Law (2012) 435 – 437.

[5] FHI Cassim et al Contemporary Company Law (2012) 438.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

Who may be appointed as director?

A1_BCertain people are not eligible to be appointed as directors of a company. In this article we look at who is disqualified from being a director as well as the effects of the actions of such persons while still acting as director.

A company must not knowingly permit an ineligible or disqualified person to serve or act as a director, according to section 69(3) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008. “Knowingly” includes the situation where the company should reasonably have known that the person is ineligible or disqualified.

Section 69(7) lists the persons on which there are an absolute prohibition, being juristic persons, minors or any persons disqualified in terms of the Memorandum of Incorporation. Section 69(8) lists the persons that are disqualified on a temporary basis, being someone who has been prohibited by the court or whom the court has declared a delinquent, unrehabilitated insolvents, persons who were removed from an office of trust on the grounds of misconduct involving dishonesty, and persons who were found guilty of a criminal offence and imprisoned without the option of a fine, or were ordered to pay a higher fine for being found guilty of any dishonesty crimes.[1]

A question that arises here is what the effect would be of appointing a prohibited director. Section 69(4) says that a person immediately ceases to be a director if they are prohibited from being a director, but section 71(3) states that if a shareholder alleges that a person is disqualified then the person must be removed by a board resolution before they cease to be a director. This means that any act done by such a person, despite his disqualification, will be valid and binding on the company unless the third party who was involved in the act was aware that the person they were dealing with was disqualified.[2]

Section 162(5) (a)-(f) sets out the grounds for an order of delinquency. A court must make an order declaring a person to be a delinquent director if the person:

1. consented to serve as a director, or acted in the capacity of a director or prescribed officer, while ineligible or disqualified to be a director;

2. acted as a director in a manner that contravened an order of probation;

3. grossly abused the position of director while being a director;

4. took personal advantage of information or an opportunity, or intentionally or by gross negligence inflicted harm upon the company or a subsidiary while being a director;

5. acted in a manner that amounted to gross negligence, wilful misconduct or breach of trust while being a director; or as contemplated in section 77(3) (a), (b) or (c);

6. has repeatedly been personally subject to a compliance notice or similar enforcement mechanism;

7. has been convicted of an offence at least twice, or subjected to an administrative fine or similar penalty; or

8. was a director of a company or a managing member of a close corporation, or controlled or participated in the control of a juristic person that was convicted of an offence, or subjected to a fine or similar penalty, within a period of five years. [3] & [4]

If a person is declared a delinquent in terms of section 162(5) (a) or (b) it is unconditional and for the lifetime of the person. If a person is declared a delinquent in terms of section 162(5) (c)-(f) this is temporary for a minimum of 7 years.[5]

It is therefore very important, when appointing a director, to make sure that he is qualified in terms of the new Companies Act. One must do proper research about a person accordingly before appointing him as a director of a company because it is possible that if you do not do so, the company in which you are a shareholder may have to bear the consequences of the actions of this disqualified person.

References:

  • Companies Act 71 of 2008
  • FHI Cassim et al Contemporary Company Law (2012)

[1] Section 69(7) – (8) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008.

[2] Section 69(4) and 71(3) of the Companies Act 71 of 2008.

[3] Section 162(5) (a)-(f) of the Companies Act.

[4] FHI Cassim et al Contemporary Company Law (2012) 435 – 437.

[5] FHI Cassim et al Contemporary Company Law (2012) 438.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)