Vicarious liability in Southern Africa closely resembles vicarious liability in common law jurisdictions. A decision on whether a person is vicariously liable for injury caused by another typically rests upon the facts of the particular case, but decisions in the following cases have precedential value.
In Goldberg v. Durban City Council,1 the plaintiff had been arrested after she failed to respond in court to summonses for traffic offences. She did not appear because she had never been served with the summonses. She was arrested and detained because the process server falsely stated that the summonses had been served. The process server (an off-duty traffic policeman) was liable for unlawful arrest. The plaintiff sought to hold the city council, which prosecuted the traffic offences, vicariously liable.
The council had entered into a written contract with the process server entitled "Contract for the Appointment of Persons to Serve Summonses in Criminal Cases on Behalf of the City Council". One clause provided that, "The contractor hereby acknowledges that he is an independent contractor and not the servant or agent of the Council which is in no way liable for any acts or omissions by the contractor." The court held, nevertheless, that the process server was the council's servant because of the degree of control the council____________________