Common Law in Southern Africa: Conflict of Laws and Torts Precedents

By Peter B. Kutner | Go to book overview

10
NUISANCE AND TRESPASS TO LAND

Only a few Southern African cases of nuisance and trespass to land have precedential value for common law jurisdictions.


RIGHT TO ACTION

In Kanniappen v. Govender,1 the plaintiff had entered a written agreement for the purchase of a farm of 158 acres. The agreement provided that possession and occupation of the farm would be delivered to the plaintiff on the 30th June 1959, after which the plaintiff would receive the rents and income of the farm and be responsible for rates, insurance and other outgoings. Ownership of the farm was not to pass to the plaintiff and the property was not to be registered in his name until the purchase price (payable in annual installments) had been fully paid or guaranteed. This had not occurred at the time of the litigation. The plaintiff brought an action of trespass in order to obtain ejectment of a tenant who occupied fifteen acres of the farm and refused to vacate it on the 30th June 1959.

The court held that the plaintiff could not maintain an action of trespass because he had not obtained possession of the fifteen acres occupied by the defendant. Trespass was described as a wrong against actual possession, a disturbance of possession from which arose a right to restoration of possession and damages. It afforded no remedy to one entitled to obtain possession but not disturbed in

____________________
1
1962 (1) S.A. 101 (N).

-251-

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Common Law in Southern Africa: Conflict of Laws and Torts Precedents
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • I - Southern African Precedents for the Conflict of Laws 9
  • 1 - Domicile 11
  • 2 - Jurisdiction 31
  • 3 - Recognition of Foreign Money Judgments 41
  • 4 - Choice of Law 61
  • 5 - Family Law 111
  • II - Southern African Precedents for the Law of Torts 155
  • 6 - Negligence 157
  • 7 - Defences and Apportionment of Damages 181
  • 8 - Vicarious Liability 209
  • 9 - Assessment of Damages 229
  • 10 - Nuisance and Trespass to Land 251
  • 11 - Misrepresentation 255
  • 12 - Economic Loss 267
  • 13 - Passing Off 283
  • 14 - Unlawful Competition 297
  • 15 - Defamation 307
  • 16 - Privacy 341
  • Bibliographic Note 347
  • Principal Works Cited and Abbreviations 349
  • Table of Statutes 353
  • Table of Cases 355
  • Conflict of Laws Index 365
  • Torts Index 369
  • About the Author 373
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