Law of Delict 7th edition.pdf - NEETHLING-POTGIETER-VISSER...

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Unformatted text preview: NEETHLING-POTGIETER-VISSER Law of Delict Seventh Edition NEETHLING-POTGIETER-VISSER Law of Delict Seventh Edition J NEETHLING BA LLB (UOVS) LLM (McGill) LLD (Unisa) Senior Professor of Private Law, University of the Free State Emeritus Professor of Private Law, University of South Africa Advocate of the High Court of South Africa JM POTGIETER BIur LLB LLM (RAU) LLM (Harvard) LLD (Unisa) Emeritus Professor of Private Law, University of South Africa Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer Members of the LexisNexis Group worldwide South Africa DURBAN JOHANNESBURG CAPE TOWN Australia Austria Benelux Canada China France Germany Hong Kong India Italy Japan Korea Malaysia New Zealand Poland Singapore United Kingdom USA LexisNexis (Pty) Ltd 215 Peter Mokaba Road (North Ridge Road), Morningside, Durban, 4001 Building No. 9, Harrowdene Office Park, 124 Western Service Road, Woodmead, 2191 Office Floor 2, North Lobby, Boulevard Place, Heron Close, Century City, 7441 LexisNexis, CHATSWOOD, New South Wales LexisNexis Verlag ARD Orac, VIENNA LexisNexis Benelux, AMSTERDAM LexisNexis Canada, MARKHAM, Ontario LexisNexis, BEIJING LexisNexis, PARIS LexisNexis Germany, MÜNSTER LexisNexis, HONG KONG LexisNexis, NEW DELHI Giuffrè Editore, MILAN LexisNexis, TOKYO LexisNexis, SEOUL LexisNexis, KUALA LUMPUR LexisNexis, WELLINGTON LexisNexis Poland, WARSAW LexisNexis, SINGAPORE LexisNexis, LONDON LexisNexis, DAYTON, Ohio © 2015 ISBN 978 0 409 11839 1 E-Book ISBN 978 0 409 12037 0 First edition 1990, Reprinted 1991, 1992 Second edition 1994, Reprinted 1995, 1996, 1997 Third edition 1999, Reprinted 1999, 2001 Fourth edition 2002, Reprinted 2002, 2003 Fifth edition 2006, Reprinted 2006, 2007 Sixth edition 2010 Copyright subsists in this work. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the publisher’s written permission. Any unauthorised reproduction of this work will constitute a copyright infringement and render the doer liable under both civil and criminal law. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published in this work is accurate, the editors, publishers and printers take no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of the reliance upon the information contained therein. Editor: Lisa Sandford Technical Editor: Gary Gustarfson Printed in South Africa by Interpak Books Pietermaritzburg Preface Law of Delict is intended to be a comprehensive introduction to the general principles of delictual liability and the most important forms of delict. It is primarily aimed at students in so far as we sought to deal systematically and critically with the most important principles of the law of delict. Although it was not our aim to provide an exhaustive discussion of positive law, practitioners should also find the book useful since we cite and discuss the most authoritative sources (case law and legislation). The seventh edition of Law of Delict, appearing simultaneously with the Afrikaans version thereof, was revised and updated in toto in light of new legal authority and literature which naturally necessitated an adaptation of legal principles and theoretical points of view. In particular, special attention was given to the lively debate on delictual principles that has taken place in academic and judicial circles since the appearance of the last edition, especially on the relationship between wrongfulness, negligence and legal causation. Case law was updated to the September 2014 South African law reports. We express our appreciation to Corné Human, Mandy Jonck and Lisa Sandford of LexisNexis for their efficient and friendly assistance with this edition of Law of Delict. J NEETHLING JM POTGIETER September 2014 v Contents Page Preface .................................................................................................................................................... v PART I Introduction to the law of delict 1 General introduction 1 2 3 4 5 Delict: general nature and place in the legal system....................................................................... Delict and breach of contract .......................................................................................................... Delict and crime.............................................................................................................................. Historical development of delictual liability .................................................................................. 4.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 4.2 Actio legis Aquiliae ................................................................................................................ 4.3 Actio iniuriarum .................................................................................................................... 4.4 Action for pain and suffering ................................................................................................. The law of delict, the Constitution and fundamental (human) rights ............................................. 3 6 7 8 8 8 12 16 17 PART II General principles of the law of delict 2 Conduct 1 2 3 4 General............................................................................................................................................ Nature and characteristics of conduct ............................................................................................. The defence of automatism ............................................................................................................. Commission (commissio) and omission (omissio) ......................................................................... 25 25 26 30 3 Wrongfulness 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction .................................................................................................................................... Act and consequence ...................................................................................................................... The legal convictions of the community (boni mores) as the basic test for wrongfulness ...................................................................................................................... 3.1 The balancing of interests ...................................................................................................... 3.2 A delictual criterion ............................................................................................................... 3.3 An objective criterion ............................................................................................................ 3.4 Practical application of the boni mores criterion ................................................................... Wrongfulness as infringement of a right ........................................................................................ 4.1 The doctrine of subjective rights ........................................................................................... 4.2 The nature of a subjective right ............................................................................................. 4.3 Further development of the doctrine of subjective rights ...................................................... 4.4 Origin of subjective rights ..................................................................................................... 4.5 Infringement of a subjective right: requirements ................................................................... Wrongfulness as breach of a legal duty .......................................................................................... 5.1 General ................................................................................................................................... 5.2 Liability for an omission ........................................................................................................ 5.2.1 Prior conduct (the omissio per commissionem rule) ................................................. 5.2.2 Control of a dangerous object ................................................................................... 5.2.3 Knowledge and foresight of possible harm .............................................................. 5.2.4 Rules of law ............................................................................................................... 5.2.5 A special relationship between the parties ................................................................ vii 33 34 36 38 41 42 45 51 51 52 53 53 54 55 55 58 60 62 65 66 69 viii Law of Delict 6 7 8 5.2.6 A particular office ..................................................................................................... 5.2.7 Contractual undertaking for the safety of a third party ............................................. 5.2.8 Creation of the impression that the interests of a third party will be protected ........ 5.2.9 Interplay of factors .................................................................................................... 5.2.10 The general wrongfulness criterion ........................................................................... 5.3 Breach of a statutory duty ...................................................................................................... Wrongfulness as the reasonableness of holding a defendant liable ................................................ Grounds of justification .................................................................................................................. 7.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 7.2 Private defence ....................................................................................................................... 7.2.1 General ...................................................................................................................... 7.2.2 Requirements for the attack....................................................................................... 7.2.3 Requirements for the defence .................................................................................... 7.3 Necessity ................................................................................................................................ 7.3.1 General ...................................................................................................................... 7.3.2 Requirements for necessity ....................................................................................... 7.3.3 Necessity and impossibility ....................................................................................... 7.4 Provocation ............................................................................................................................ 7.4.1 General ...................................................................................................................... 7.4.2 Provocation in the case of physical assault ............................................................... 7.4.3 Provocation in cases of defamation and insult .......................................................... 7.5 Consent .................................................................................................................................. 7.5.1 General ...................................................................................................................... 7.5.2 Characteristics of consent as a ground of justification .............................................. 7.5.3 Requirements for valid consent ................................................................................. 7.5.4 The pactum de non petendo in anticipando .............................................................. 7.6 Statutory authority ................................................................................................................. 7.7 Official capacity ..................................................................................................................... 7.8 Execution of an official command ......................................................................................... 7.9 Power to discipline................................................................................................................. Abuse of right, nuisance and neighbour law .................................................................................. 8.1 Abuse of right ........................................................................................................................ 8.2 Nuisance................................................................................................................................. Page 71 71 72 73 77 78 80 87 87 88 88 89 92 97 97 99 103 104 104 105 107 108 108 109 111 114 114 119 119 121 123 123 127 4 Fault (and contributory fault) 1 2 3 4 General............................................................................................................................................ Accountability................................................................................................................................. Intent ............................................................................................................................................... 3.1 Direction of the will ............................................................................................................... 3.2 Consciousness (knowledge) of wrongfulness ........................................................................ 3.3 Motive and mistake concerning the causal chain of events ................................................... Negligence ...................................................................................................................................... 4.1 Definition and nature ............................................................................................................. 4.2 Can negligence and intention overlap? .................................................................................. 4.3 Ordinary and gross negligence .............................................................................................. 4.4 Negligence and an omission .................................................................................................. 4.5 The reasonable person: characteristics................................................................................... 4.5.1 General ...................................................................................................................... 4.5.2 Children ..................................................................................................................... 4.5.3 Experts ....................................................................................................................... 4.6 Negligence: foreseeability and preventability of damage ...................................................... 4.7 Negligence judged in the light of the surrounding circumstances ......................................... 4.8 Negligence and “duty of care” ............................................................................................... 4.9 Proof of negligence ................................................................................................................ 4.10 Relevance of negligence ........................................................................................................ 4.11 Distinction between wrongfulness and negligence ................................................................ 129 131 132 133 135 136 137 137 139 140 141 141 141 143 145 148 154 158 160 162 163 Contents ix 5 Contributory fault ........................................................................................................................... 5.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 5.2 The common law position...................................................................................................... 5.3 The Apportionment of Damages Act 34 of 1956 .................................................................. 5.3.1 Provisions and meaning of section 1(1)(a) and (b) ................................................... 5.3.2 Meaning of “fault” .................................................................................................... 5.3.3 Meaning of “apportionment of damages” ................................................................. 5.3.4 Criteria for the “apportionment of damages” ............................................................ 5.3.5 Onus of proof ............................................................................................................ 5.3.6 The concept of contributory “negligence” ................................................................ 5.3.7 Fault in respect of “damage” or “damage-causing event” ........................................ 5.3.8 The provisions and meaning of section 1(3) ............................................................. 5.3.9 The dependant’s action.............................................................................................. 5.3.10 Joint wrongdoers ....................................................................................................... 5.3.11 Breach of contract ..................................................................................................... 5.3.12 Legal causation .......................................................................................................... 5.4 Voluntary assumption of risk and contributory fault (intent) ................................................ 5.4.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................... 5.4.2 Relevant cases ........................................................................................................... 5.4.3 Rescue cases .............................................................................................................. Page 167 167 167 168 168 169 169 170 173 173 173 174 175 175 176 176 177 177 178 181 5 Causation 1 2 3 General............................................................................................................................................ Factual causation ............................................................................................................................ 2.1 General ................................................................................................................................... 2.2 Conditio sine qua non and causation by positive conduct ..................................................... 2.3 Logical criticism of the conditio sine qua non theory ........................................................... 2.4 Conditio sine qua non and causation by an omission ............................................................ 2.5 The flexible application of conditio sine qua non ....................... ………………………….. 2.6 The determination of a factual (causal) nexus ....................................................................... Legal causation ............................................................................................................................... 3.1 General ................................................................................................................................... 3.2 The flexible approach ............................................................................................................ 3.3 Adequate causation ...............................................................................................
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