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January 2021

Dear Client / Geagte Kliënt


Newsletter
 
 

Covid Guinea Pig? That’s The Question

“The first responsibility of any government is to protect its citizens and the threats to public health are amongst the most important of all…” - Matt Hancock.

Teen die agtergrond van hierdie aanhaling skets Cheryl-Anne Ehrenreich, een van ons direkteure, die unieke uitdagings wat ons regering in die gesig staar op gesondheid vlak tydens die pandemie en daarna.  Sy maak voorts ook gewag van spesifieke voorstelle gegrond op velerlei gesprekke deur onafhanklike kundiges op die gebied, wat deesdae baie aandag trek op sosiale platforms, maar wie weinig aandag kry in die massa-media, soos koerante en televisie kanale, wie almal oënskynlik dieselfde narratief onderskryf. 



The Covid-19 pandemic has destroyed most world economies, caused devastation to public health globally and lockdowns have caused bankruptcy to businesses worldwide. 

South Africa as a member of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) is obligated to follow its instructions, recommendations and guidelines in respect of all matters relating to health, especially pandemics. However, certain countries guarding their sovereignty, were reluctant to cede total legislative power to the W.H.O. and drafted a provision in the International Regulations giving them the right to implement alternative health measures on the premise that these measures were scientifically grounded and for the common good. In light of the recent developments which will be discussed further on this provision was very wise, because it now allows countries to adopt measures, strategies and Regulatory Frameworks best suited to its own demographics, infrastructures and available fiscal space. Hopefully the South African government can start looking at alternative health measures and treatments which could render better and safer results for our citizenry than that recommended by the W.H.O. 

It is said that vaccines usually take a minimum of 10 years to develop. The Coronavirus Vaccines which are being rolled out only took a few months to develop and manufacturers were presumably allowed to skip many safety protocols. Clinical trials (which some have called experiments) have been conducted on human volunteers right here in South Africa. Whether these brave clinical trial volunteers are still alive and whether they developed any side effects or strange illnesses are unknown. How safe and effective these vaccines are is unclear, because there’s only limited, short term safety data available from clinical trials and no way to tell what the long term effects will be. 

Many medical doctors all around the world have taken to social media to warn people against the dangers and possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines. Many have come forward with alternative ways to treat the coronavirus claiming 100% recovery rate of hundreds of patients. If alternative, safer, cheaper medication can effectively treat the coronavirus why are countries, and ours in particular, not considering or investigating it? There’s no way of telling with certainty how safe and effective these vaccines really are.

Recently a new variant of the coronavirus called 501.V2 was discovered in South Africa. Whether it is more contagious than COVID-19 is still unclear. According to our national Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, this new variant is now infecting younger people who had no co-morbidities. A senior researcher at the University of KZN said it is highly unlikely that patients with the new variant will have different symptoms. It is, however believed that this new variant is driving the second coronavirus wave. Alarmingly, South Africa apparently has a much higher proportion of the variant than the rest of the world. 

Furthermore, in a video clip circulating on social media, Dr Van Kerhove of the W.H.O. said that South Africa is growing the COVID virus and testing to see if it can mutate. While many South Africans were aware that clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines have been conducted in South Africa since mid 2020, news from W.H.O. that the virus was being grown on South African soil and that tests for mutations are being done here resulted in many concerned outcries on social platforms. People questioned why our president never referred to or made mention of something so vitally important during any of his public briefings. 

While many countries have informed its citizens about their respective COVID-19 vaccine roll out plans, the South African government has so far failed to do so. The vaccines will, according to reports, only be available during the 2nd quarter of 2021. Only 4 categories of people will receive them. According to Professor Barry Schoub, Chairperson of the  Ministerial Advisory Committee on Vaccines, the following categories of people will receive the vaccines: 
  • healthcare workers;
  • people aged 75 years and older including those who live and work in old age homes;
  • essential workers; and 
  • prisoners and those who are institutionalised.
Some important issues that are unclear at this stage are:
  • Whether taking the vaccines will be voluntary, or mandatory.
  • How many South Africans will receive the vaccine? Although it was initially stated that about 10% of the population will have access to the Covax coronavirus vaccine there have been claims that only 3% will have access to it.  
  • What is the name of the vaccine Covax will deliver to South Africa? This is important as there are about 50 possible coronavirus vaccines currently undergoing clinical trials. At the forefront are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines whose preliminary findings apparently show a more than 90% effectiveness in clinical trials. Of concern though is that both vaccines use new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology which is based on the idea that the human body can act as its own vaccine factory. You get injected with a customised genetic code that instructs human cells to make key virus proteins to induce an immune response. So technology, instead of a serum, is being used in these vaccines. There are claims from doctors and scientists that such vaccines could change your genetic code, your DNA forever.
  • Will the South African government be conducting their own safety trials and studies on the vaccines before the roll out, and will they be taking responsibility for any possible side effects or fatalities, since the vaccine manufacturers enjoy immunity?
  • Will the vaccine be effective in treating those with the new 501.V2 variant or will a new vaccine have to be developed for such variant? 
In closing, our South African government should consider instructing our own scientists, virologists and medical doctors to conduct their own studies on the coronavirus. These studies should include the effectiveness of wearing masks in the COVID-19 fight, since possible health risks may be posed by the continuous wearing of masks as well as the testing of alternative medical treatments which many doctors from all over the world are using on patients and recommending to colleagues, to establish if such protocols really work. After all, the first responsibility of our government should be to protect the South African citizens and failure to do so could have serious implications and consequences for all.

Regards and a prosperous new year to all our clients, staff, colleagues, and friends.

Hennie, Eberhard & Cheryl-Anne  
Direkteure | Directors



 
 
 
ArticleImage  
Building a Home in 2021: The Dangers of Not Being NHBRC Compliant
2021 and its “work anywhere, live anywhere” new normal could be a great time to build a house – perhaps a new home to live/work in, perhaps a house for investment or holidays.

Regardless, both building contractors and their landowning clients need to understand how vital it is to comply with the Housing Consumers Protection Measures Act. Is registration of the contractor with the NHBRC (National Home Builders Registration Council) enough? What happens if you fail to comply?

We address those questions with reference to a recent High Court case in which, for want of strict compliance, a builder lost its claim to payment for building a house.
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Lewensmaats – ’n Testament en ’n Saamwoonooreenkoms is steeds nodig!  
ArticleImage
‘n Onlangse uitspraak van die Hooggeregshof wat aansienlike mediadekking geniet het, word as ’n groot oorwinning vir die regte van lewensmaats van die teenoorgestelde geslag beskou. In ’n neutedop, nadat die een lewensmaat “intestaat” gesterf het, het die Hof beslis dat die ander lewensmaat daarop geregtig was om in die boedel te deel, hoewel daar geen huwelik tussen hulle bestaan het nie. Met hierdie beslissing is bepalings van die Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging en die Wet op Onderhoud van Langslewende Gades ongrondwetlik verklaar en die Grondwetlike Hof sal na alle verwagtig hierdie beslissing bekragtig. 

Die beteken egter nie dat lewensmaats moet nalaat om geldige testamente in plek te hê, of dat hulle moet saamwoon sonder ’n “saamwoon-ooreenkoms” nie. Ons bespreek waarom hierdie dokumente noodsaaklik is, nieteenstaande die Hof se uitspraak.
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Don’t Fall Victim to a Ponzi Scheme in 2021!
The lure of “easy money” is particularly attractive in times of economic upheaval and financial turmoil, and the criminals behind Ponzi and pyramid schemes are doubtless eying this year with happy anticipation.

We share some thoughts on why these scamsters are so successful at conning even the best of us, a useful infographic on some of the main “red flags” to watch out for, and ideas on warning others (including your staff if you are an employer) of the dangers and how to avoid them.

Don’t be a victim in 2021!
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 Our Directors
             
       
    Hennie van Zyl
DIRECTOR
021 180 4551 / 083 250 9501
hvanzyl@vzk.co.za
      Eberhard Kruger
DIRECTOR
021 180 4552 / 082 789 1706
ekruger@vzk.co.za
      Cheryl-Anne Ehrenreich
DIRECTOR
021 180 4564 / 082 783 7242
cheryl@vzk.co.za
   
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© 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)


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cnr Carl Cronje Drive & Bill Bezuidenhout Avenue, Bellville, Cape Town

info@vzk.co.za | Reception: 021 180 4550 | Fax: 021 180 4540


DIRECTORS: H L VAN ZYL (B.PROC); E S KRUGER (B.COMM LL.B MPRE); C A EHRENREICH (BA.LL.B LL.M)
ASSOCIATES: S JANSE VAN RENSBURG (B.COM LL.B); LI CHANTLER(B COMM LLB); D VAN ZYL (LL.B LL.M);
M VAN DEN HEEVER (LL.B); A BARNARD (B.COM LL.B DIP.FINPLANNING).
PRACTICE MANAGER: F BRAVENBOER (NDIP FIS).
CONSULTANT: J A L VAN ZYL (B.JURIS LL.B); C I’ANSON-SPARKS Solicitor in England and Wales (LL.B(HONS), DIP LEGAL PRACTICE)