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Juridiese kousaliteit kan van feitelike kousaliteit onderskei word. Feitelike kousaliteit kan beskryf word as die beantwoording van die vraag of die optrede van ‘n oortreder die skade veroorsaak het wat die eiser gely het. Die toets vir feitelike kousaliteit word gevind in die frase “sine qua non” wat beteken “maar vir die gedrag” sou die skade nie daar gewees het nie.

In Lee v Minister of Correctional Services[2], moes die hof aanspreeklikheid bepaal toe die eiser tuberkulose (TB) opgedoen het terwyl hy in die Pollsmoor-gevangenis aangehou is. Die hof het bepaal dat die tronk nalatig was in sy beleid om die oordrag van die siekte tussen gevangenes te verminder. Ten spyte van die gevangenis se nalatigheid, kon dit nie gehou word dat dit aanspreeklik was vir die spesifieke geval van oordrag van die virus nie, aangesien die presiese oorsprong en oomblik van oordrag van die virus nie vasgestel kon word nie.

In terme van regsoorsaaklikheid, het die howe bevind dat die toets vir juridiese kousaliteit meer buigsaam is, die omvang van aanspreeklikheid wat aan die oortreder toegeskryf word vasgestel moet word, en die toets van “redelike voorsienbaarheid” toegepas kan word om die vraag te beantwoord.

Die talem qualem-reël word gebruik in wat soms na verwys word as “eierskedelgevalle”. Dit ontstaan wanneer ‘n eiser een of ander onderliggende swakheid (fisies, sielkundig of finansieel) het wat veroorsaak dat hulle ‘n ernstiger besering opdoen of meer skade ly as wat die geval sou wees as die onderliggende swakheid nie tydens die verweerder se optrede daar was nie. Die verweerder is gewoonlik onkundig oor die feit dat die eiser ‘n gebrek of swakheid het totdat sodanige gebrek meer skade of ‘n ernstiger besering veroorsaak.

In wese, beteken die reël dat ‘n “oortreder” die slagoffer moet vat soos hy hom kry. Die vraag is of die oortreder aanspreeklik gehou moet word vir die skade wat deur die bestaan van die swakheid vererger is en die gevolge deur die oortreder voorsien kon word.

In Gibson v Berkowits[3], dagvaar die eiser die verweerder vir pyn en lyding en verlies na ‘n prosedure wat haar verdere behandelings en deurlopende mediese behandeling, asook korttermynpyn en disfunksie veroorsaak het. As gevolg van die pyn en disfunksie, het die eiser ‘n verlies aan belangstelling in haar fisiese voorkoms ervaar wat daartoe gelei het dat sy by die werk gedegradeer is, en sy het ‘n ernstige depressiewe versteuring ontwikkel. Die hof het bevind dat haar depressiewe toestand geregverdig gekoppel is aan die verweerder se nalatigheid en dat haar geneigdheid tot depressie en vermoë om trauma te hanteer ‘n goeie voorbeeld van ‘n eierskedelgeval was. Die hof het bevind dat sielkundige gevolge na fisiese besering redelikerwys voorsienbaar is en dat die oortreder aanspreeklik gehou kan word vir die sielkundige besering, al is dit verder verwyder van die nalatige optrede.

Finansiële “eierskedel” word geïllustreer in die saak van Smit v Abrahams[4], waar die eiser die koste van die huur van ‘n vervangingsvoertuig geëis het nadat sy voertuig beskadig is en hy nie die herstelwerk kon bekostig nie. Die hof het die reël ondersoek en tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die die eiser se “eierskedel” net een van vele faktore is wat in ag geneem moet word wanneer die buigsame toets vir kousaliteit toegepas word en dat al die omstandighede in terme van redelikheid, geregtigheid en billikheid in ag geneem moet word voordat die skade aan die oortreder toegereken word.

[1] Dutton I, The Practitioners Guide to Medical Malpractice in South African Law. 2015 (Kaapstad)
[2] 2013(2) SA 144 CC
[3] 1996 (4) SA 1029 (W)
[4] 1994(4) SA 1 (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.

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Jan Fourie

Director |  Attorney, Notary & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Jan graduated in 1974 with a five-year BA LLB degree from the University of Stellenbosch, whereafter he was admitted as an advocate and prosecuted as such in the Cape Town and Wynberg Courts. In 1974, he joined Swemmer & Levin as the Candidate Attorney of Mr Levin (founding member) and was admitted as an attorney on 7 April 1976, as a conveyancer on 11 January 1978, and as a Notary on 19 December 1984. Since 1974, he has served in various committees, including the West Coast Chamber of Commerce, the Vredenburg School Committee, and the Malgas Lions Club. 

Furthermore, Jan was the author of the first bilingual law book, The New Debt Collecting Procedures (Die Nuwe Skuldinvorderingsprosedures), which was used by all the Magistrate Courts throughout South Africa. With the founding of the Small Claims Court in Vredenburg, Jan served as one of the first Commissioners. He is currently based at Swemmer & Levin’s Vredenburg office and has been with our firm for more than 47 years.

Pieter Smit

Director | Attorney & Conveyancer | BA. LLB

Pieter obtained his BA Law degree from Stellenbosch University in 1995 and his LLB degree from the North-West University in Potchefstroom in 1998. He served his articles at Marais Muller Attorneys from 1998 to 1999 and was admitted as an attorney in 2000 and as a conveyancer in 2002. Pieter is the founder of PP Smit Attorneys, which opened its doors in 2004. He also became a director of Swemmer & Levin in 2006. Pieter loves the outdoors and participating in all forms of sport, including tennis, golf, fishing, spearfishing, scuba diving, and hiking. 

Johann Maree

Director | Attorney | BA. LLB

Johann matriculated at Oudtshoorn High School and attended Stellenbosch University, where he obtained his BA Law and LLB degrees. Following his studies, he worked for three years as State Prosecutor at the Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town. Johann completed his legal training with the State Attorney in Pretoria and then moved to his hometown, Oudtshoorn, where he worked as a lawyer for a year. In 1983, he finally moved to Vredenburg and joined Swemmer & Levin, where he is still practising as a director. When he is not in the office, Johann enjoys cycling and in his earlier days, he used to be a long-distance junkie.

Richard Phillips

Director | Attorney | Bcom & BProc

After matriculating at Paarl Boys’ High School, Richard completed his BCom and BProc degrees at the University of Port Elizabeth. He served his articles with Van Wyk Fouchee in Paarl and quickly developed an affinity for litigation. Richard has always had a deep love for the ocean and when he was presented with an opportunity to join Swemmer & Levin on the West Coast, he agreed without hesitation and has been with our firm since 1997. Richard specialises in general litigation and divorces. When he is not in the office or with his family, he tries to spend as much time as possible in or on the water.

Jandré Smith

Director | Attorney | LLB

Jandré grew up and matriculated in the small Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn. He furthered his studies at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, obtaining his LLB degree during 2015. He completed his articles at Swemmer & Levin in 2017 and was subsequently appointed as a professional assistant. In 2020, Jandré was promoted to the position of director at the firm, where he practises in the Litigation department at our Langebaan office. When not practising law, Jandré is an avid sports fan. He has a passion for nature and enjoys camping, trail running, and mountain biking with his family.

Andre van der Walt

Director | Attorney | LLB

Andre graduated in 2015 with an LLB degree from the University of Pretoria. He later went on to obtain his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates from the University of South Africa, which allowed him to further his career in deceased estates and the drafting of wills and trusts. Andre served his articles at Barnard & Patel Attorneys under the supervision of Mr YAS Patel. After being admitted as an attorney in 2016, he continued working at Barnard & Patel Attorneys as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department.

Andre joined Van Rensburg Attorneys in 2019 and was head of the deceased estates department until 2021. He then received the opportunity to move to the West Coast, where he joined Swemmer & Levin Attorneys. Andre loves travelling and enjoys the beauty that our country has to offer with his friends, family, and loved ones.

Harmann Potgieter

Attorney | LLB

Harmann graduated in 2018 with an LLB degree from the North-West University’s Potchefstroom Campus. He went on to study and grow in various fields, including doing a course on the Consumer Protection Act and a course at the University of South Africa where he obtained his NQF 7 Certificate in the Administration of Deceased Estates.

Harmann completed his articles of clerkship at Swemmer & Levin under the supervision of Mr Richard Phillips. After being admitted as an attorney in 2020, Harmann continued with Swemmer & Levin as a professional assistant in the deceased estates department as well as the litigation department. He loves to study, possesses a deep curiosity about the world, and is dedicated to giving back to the community.

Carla Cloete

Attorney, Conveyancer & Notary | LLB

Carla obtained her LLB at the North West University, Potchefstroom Campus in 2015. She completed her articles in 2017 with Brits Dreyer Inc in Bellville. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer. After her articles she relocated to Kimberley where she worked as a professional assistant in the Conveyancing department of Van de Wall Inc. Coming back to her Western Cape roots, she now joins the Swemmer & Levin team as a professional assistant.