View Online  |  Forward Newsletter
November 2021

Dear Client / Geagte Kliënt


Dit word deur rolspelers in die bedryf beweer dat tot 70% van Suid-Afrikaners nie oor 'n geldige testament beskik nie, waarin bepaal word hoe hul bates na hul afsterwe verdeel moet word. Baie artikels is oor die jare deur regslui geskryf oor hoe belangrik dit werklik is om oor 'n geldige testament te beskik en alhoewel daar baie lofwaardige inisiatiewe bestaan, soos die nasionale testament-week en testament-maand, waartydens prokureurs gratis testamente vir die publiek opstel, bly die meerderheid mense steeds sonder 'n testament (of intestaat). Dit beteken dat hul besittings na hul afsterwe waarskynlik kan (en dikwels sal) beland in die hande van persone wie die oorledene nooit bedoel het om van hom of haar te erf nie.

It is said that about 70% of South Africans don’t have a will directing how their assets should be distributed upon their death. Many articles have been written over the years by legal professionals about the importance of having a valid will and although there are great initiatives such as the national wills week and wills month where attorneys draft wills for the public free of charge the majority of people are still without a will. This means their belongings might end up (and often do) in the hands of someone they never intended to inherit.  

In order for a will to be valid there is a list of formalities/requirements that must be complied with as stated in Sec 2(1) of the Wills Act of 1953, as amended. Some of these formalities are that: 

  • the will must be in writing (i.e. written by hand, typed or printed); 
  • the Testator must initial each page of the will and sign the last page;
  • the will must be signed in the presence of two competent witnesses;
  • the two witnesses must sign anywhere on the last page of the will, in the presence of the testator.
There is, however, an exception to this, namely, Sec 2(3) of the Wills Act which says the following: “If a court is satisfied that a document…..drafted or executed by a person who has died since the drafting or execution thereof, was intended to be his will…., the court shall order the Master to accept that document,….. for the purposes of the Administration of Estates Act, 1965 (Act 66 of 1965), as a will, although it does not comply with all the formalities for the execution or amendment of wills referred to in subsection (1).” 

For a successful court application condoning non-compliance with the formalities of a will there are certain requirements that must be met:
  1. There must be a document.

  2. The document must have been drafted or executed by the deceased. 

    In Bekker v Naude en Andere 2003 (5) SA 173 (SCA) the court held that the document must have been prepared personally by the deceased and a document could not be accepted as a will if it had been prepared by a third party.

  3. The deceased must have intended it to be his will.
When looking at court cases i.e. Case law it is clear that there is uncertainty in the application of section 2(3) especially with regard to the “intention” requirement which resulted in conflicting judgements. The courts also consider the surrounding circumstances of each case to determine whether the deceased intended the document to be his/her will. Recently in Estate Late Elaine Ilsia Williams and Others v Hendricks and Another [2021] ZAWCHC 66 the court held that there was no evidence that the deceased intended a signed pro forma document instructing a bank to draft her Last Will and Testament to be her will. Interestingly, even an electronic will stored on a computer hard drive which has not been printed or executed (signed) might be saved by Sec 2(3). 

In closing: Even if there is no formal valid will, there might be a signed or unsigned document created by a deceased, stored on a laptop or at home which might be accepted by a court, if the Sec 2(3) requirements are met, as a valid will thereby giving effect to the last wishes of a testator/testatrix and ensuring that the intended, rightful heirs receive their inheritance.

Regards / Groete.

Hennie, Eberhard & Cheryl-Anne


Marriage in South Africa - Part 1: Getting married? A few considerations

A brief overview in Four parts on a few legal aspects of the concept of Marriage in South Africa.

Part 1 focuses on the considerations in respect of various property regimes and whether or not spouses-to-be should consider concluding an Antenuptial Contract.

Part 2 will briefly touch on the various (sometimes confusing) legislation relating to marriages in South Africa.

Part 3 will focus on a slightly more detailed understanding of the various matrimonial property regimes; and 

Part 4 will consider some aspects regarding the validity of marriages, when foreigners get married in South Africa, or when South Africans get married abroad.

Read More
Ontslaan na Rassistiese Facebook Plasing  

Ons howe duld nie rassisme in enige vorm nie. Enigiemand wat Facebook (of enige ander sosiale media-platform of aanlyn-forum) gebruik om rasgebaseerde haatspraak te verkondig of te ondersteun, sal hul vasloop. 

‘n Onlangse uitspraak van die Arbeidshof bevestig dat summiere ontslag vir diegene wag wat rassistiese uitlatings by die werkplek, maar ook daar buite, wil maak. 

‘n Algemene werker het buite werksure en buite sy werkplek 'n rassistiese opmerking op 'n openbare Facebook-groep geplaas. Die hof bevestig dat sy ontslag substantief en prosedureel billik was. Elke werkgewer en elke werknemer word aangeraai om kennis te neem van die hof se redes en besluit hierin. 

Read More
Community Scheme Disputes and the Ombud’s Powers to Resolve Them

“Community scheme” living has many advantages, but disputes come with the territory and that’s where the conciliation and alternative dispute resolution services offered by the CSOS (Community Schemes Ombud Service) come into the picture.

We’ll start off discussing what disputes you can refer to the Ombud and talk about why a recent High Court decision means that, barring exceptional circumstances, you cannot go direct to a court. A group of loft owners in an inner-city mixed-use building found that out the hard way, with the Court calling their application an “abuse of process” and awarding costs against them on a penalty scale. 

We end off with a look at an exception to that rule in the form of another court case, this time one in which the Ombud was held to have no power to hear a claim for damages. 

Take advice before deciding whether to go to the Ombud or to the High Court. 

Read More
Ongetroude Ouers: “Kennisgewing van Geboorte” Uitspraak bied nou drie keuses met die registrasie van die Kind se Van  

As ‘n ouer van 'n pasgebore baba, is jy wetlik verplig om jou kind met 'n "Kennisgewing van Geboorte" by Binnelandse Sake te registreer. Hier maak jy dan die belangrike keuse om die kind se van in die bevolkingsregister aan te teken. Of jy getroud is of nie, dit maak geen verskil aan die verpligting om die geboorte te registreer nie. Tot op hierdie stadium het die Wet op Registrasie van Geboortes en Sterftes 'n ongetroude vader verhinder om die kind se Kennisgewing van Geboorte onder sy eie van te registreer, behalwe met die toestemming van die moeder.

'n Onlangse besluit van die Grondwetlike Hof het dit verander. Ongetroude ouers is nou in presies dieselfde posisie as die getroude ouers. Lees verder vir meer hieroor. Vind ook uit oor die drie vankeuses wat nou beskikbaar is vir beide getroude en ongetroude ouers ...

Read More
How to Renew Your Car Licence Disc Online

Here’s some really good news for all of us motorists dreading the annual challenge of queuing to renew our car licences.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation has launched an online payment gateway allowing us to register, renew, and pay for our licence discs on the NaTIS online platform. Read “New online car licence disc renewal portal launched” on MyBroadband for details and instructions on how to use this new facility. Read to the end of the article for news of a planned SA Post Office smartphone app, and FNB’s existing online renewal and delivery service.

Note: This does not relate to driver’s licence cards, for which an online renewal system is planned but not yet finalised.

 Our Directors
021 180 4552 / 082 789 1706
021 180 4564 / 082 783 7242
Van Greunen
021 180 4550
     Full Bio →

       Full Bio →

       Full Bio →

Van Wyk
021 180 4551
021 180 4578



© LawDotNews & Van Zyl Kruger Inc. This newsletter is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal 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.

VAN ZYL KRUGER INCORPORATED (REG. NO 2015/174073/21) (VAT NUMBER 413 0273 172)

Suite 520 Tyger Lake, Niagara Road,
Tyger Waterfront, Bellville, Cape Town | Reception: 021 180 4550 | Fax: 021 180 4540

C I’ANSON-SPARKS Solicitor in England and Wales (LL.B(HONS), DIP LEGAL PRACTICE)