'n Leë dop is soms beter as 'n halwe eier / An empty shell is sometimes better than half an egg – Gounden v Master of the High Court [2015] JOL 32896 (KZD) and Govender v Gounden 2019 2 SA 262 (KZN)

Keywords: vestiging van regte, dies cedit, dies venit, adiasie en repudiasie, intestate erfopvolging, huweliksgoederereg, huwelik in gemeenskap van goed, gemeenskaplike boedel, toestemming van gades, erfreg, Adiation and repudiation, intestate law of succession, joint estate, law of succession, marriage in community of property, matrimonial property law, consent of spouses, vesting of rights

Abstract

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court, Durban, recently had the opportunity to interpret section 15(3)(b)(iii) of the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984 within the context of the South African law of succession. This section states that: "A spouse shall not without the consent of the other spouse … receive any money due or accruing to that other spouse or the joint estate by way of … inheritance, legacy, donation, bursary or prize left, bequeathed, made or awarded to the other spouse." The question before the court was whether a person who is married in community of property requires the consent of his or her spouse in order to repudiate an intestate inheritance. The following aspects were considered by both the court a quo (Gounden v Master of the High Court [2015] JOL 32896 (KZD)) as well as the full bench on appeal (Govender v Gounden 2019 2 SA 262 (KZN)): the distinction between dies cedit and dies venit; the importance of this distinction in electing to either adiate or to repudiate an inheritance; and the implications for the joint estate of spouses married in community of property. The purpose of this contribution is to analyse and critically discuss the reasoning in the judgments in relation to these three aspects.

Author Biography

Anel Gildenhuys, Faculty of Law at the North-West University

Senior lecturer, Faculty of Law

References

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Regspraak
Bielovich v The Master 1992 4 SA 736 (N)
Bopape v Moloto 2000 1 SA 383 (T)
Botha v Botha 1979 3 SA 792 (T)
Commissioner for Inland Revenue v Estate Crew 1943 AD 656
Crookes v Watson 1956 1 SA 277 (A)
De Leef Family Trust v Commissioner for Inland Revenue 1993 3 SA 345 (A)
Estate Smith v Estate Follet 1942 AD 364
Ex parte Alberts 1944 TPD 187
Ex parte Benadie 1930 OPD 51
Ex parte Coleman Jr 1938 OPD 4
Ex parte Webb 1952 2 SA 541 (W)
Eyssell v Barnes [2000] JOL 23413 (N)
Gounden v Master of the High Court [2015] JOL 32896 (KZD)
Govender v Gounden 2019 2 SA 262 (KZD)
Greenberg v Estate Greenberg 1955 3 SA 361 (A)
Harris v Assumed Administrator, Estate MacGregor 1987 3 SA 563 (A)
In re Estate Late LJ Steytler 1946 2 PH G35 (C)
Jewish Colonial Trust Ltd v Estate Nathan 1940 AD 163
Kellerman v Van Vuuren 1994 4 SA 336 (T)
Mthembu v Letsela 2000 3 SA 867 (HHA)
Secretary for Inland Revenue v Estate Roadknight 1974 1 SA 253 (A)
Union Government (Minister of Finance) v Olivier 1916 AD 74
Van Schoor's Trustees v Executor of Muller (1858) 3 Searle 131
Visser v Hull 2010 1 SA 521 (WCC)
Weiner v The Master 1976 2 SA 830 (T)
Wessels v De Jager 2000 4 SA 924 (HHA)

Wetgewing
Boedelwet 24 van 1913
Boedelwet 66 van 1965
Insolvensiewet 24 of 1936
Kaapse Ordinansie 104 van 1833
Wet op Hereregte 40 van 1949
Wet op Huweliksgoedere 88 van 1984
Wet op Intestate Erfopvolging 81 van 1987
Wet tot Wysiging van die Erfreg 43 van 1992

Internetbronne
Afrikaans.com Datum Onbekend Liplekker-idiome https://afrikaans.com/
leefstyl/afrikaanse-liplekker-idiome/ geraadpleeg 23 September 2019
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Published
2020-04-23
Section
Case Notes