84 S. African L.J. 308 (1967)
The Rules of Precedent Applied in South African Courts

handle is hein.journals/soaf84 and id is 320 raw text is: THE RULES OF PRECEDENT APPLIED
IN SOUTH AFRICAN COURTS
(Continued from page 193 above)
Provincial and Local Divisions. Political unification in 1910 did not
mean judicial unification.3 In the Transvaal the Supreme Court was
converted to the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court
of South Africa, and the Witwatersrand High Court to the Witwaters-
rand Local Division, with the same relationship as before. The High
Court of the Orange River Colony became the Orange Free State
Provincial Division, and the Natal Supreme Court, the Natal Pro-
vincial Division. Circuit courts became local divisions: for instance,
the Durban and Coast Local Division. In the Cape Province the
Supreme Court became the Cape Provincial Division with jurisdiction
over the whole province, the High Court of Griqualand became the
Griqualand West Local Division and the Eastern Districts Court the
Eastern Districts Local Division. The latter court retained its con-
current appellate criminal jurisdiction from magistrates' courts cases.
Under the original Magistrates' Courts Act of 1917, the Eastern
Districts Local Division and the Griqualand West Local Division had
concurrent civil appellate jurisdiction in their areas with the Cape
Provincial- Division in magistrates' courts cases; and with such crimi-
nal appeals, while the Griqualand West Local Division had concurrent
jurisdiction, the Eastern Districts Local Division had exclusive com-
petency in its area.40 This position as to magistrates' courts appeals was
retained in the 1944 Act4' and still obtains, despite the elevation of the
Eastern Districts Local Division to the status of a provincial division
in 1957, qua Eastern Cape Division.42 No local division other than the
Griqualand Local Division has appellate jurisdiction.
While the Cape Provincial Division has retained its exclusive com-
petence to hear appeals in civil matters originating in the Griqualand
West Local Division, its relationship to the Eastern Cape Division has
greatly changed. The Eastern Cape Court on becoming a provincial
division in 1957 took the place of the Cape Provincial Division as the
intermediate court of appeal from civil judgments of its own where the
appeal did not lie immediately to the Appellate Division. As regards
original jurisdiction, since 1955 the Cape Provincial Division has been
competent in the area of the Eastern Cape Court in civil trials only
where the parties agree or the Eastern Cape Court grants leave,43 while
See South Africa Act, 1909, Part VI.
- Act No. 32 of 1917, sec. 80.
40 Ibid., sec. 100.
41 Magistrates' Courts Act, No. 32 of 1944, secs. 83, 103.
42 General Law Amendment Act, No. 68 of 1957, sec. 2(1)(a), now superseded by the Supreme
Court Act, No. 59 of 1959, sec. 1(ix).
43 General Law Amendment Act, No. 62 of 1955, sec. 2, now superseded by sec. 6(3) of the
Supreme Court Act, 1959.

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