I AM ACTING FOR OUR FAMILY TRUST: WARNING BELLS
Rossiter NO v Nedbank Limited (AR94/19, 8244/2010)  ZAKZPHC 7 (14 February 2020)
What powers do you have to defend and raise actions in a court as trustee of a family trust, or of any other trust? Trustees should be mindful to follow the trust deed in all regards; and where the deed is silent on this aspect, trustees must act in unison. The below judgment illustrates an instance where a trustee sought to defend an action against the family trust, acting as trustee but on her own, despite the trust deed setting out specific requirements regarding how many trustees are required in legal proceedings. The outcome was that the defence could not be entertained as the trustee lacked locus standi.
CONSENT TO SUBDIVIDE AGRICULTURAL LAND: NO EASY HURDLE
Maxrae Estates (Pty) Ltd v National Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Another (13769/19)  ZAGPPHC 58 (4 March 2020)
Many agricultural land owners know of the limitations imposed on development of their land by virtue of the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act. This judgment illustrates the difficulties such owners face and highlights what facts must be shown to appeal the Minister’s refusal of an application to subdivide. The owner can approach a court for review of the Minister’s exercise of his discretion. To do this, one has to be able to show that the Minister failed to exercise his discretion rationally, reasonably and within the bounds of the law; a hefty onus.
The Judgment can be viewed here.