In the era of social media and instant messaging, the courts are constantly challenged to develop the common law to accommodate the ever-changing environment. Recently, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) was asked to pronounce on whether a WhatsApp message, in which a man indicated he would pay each of his children R1 million if he won R20 million, gave rise to an enforceable contract.
With reference to the above examine whether a WhatsApp message may constitute a valid offer and acceptance in terms of South African Law of Contract.
Answer to Above Question on Principles of Contract
The process of forming a contract indicates that there must be a valid offer and acceptance. In the given case scenario, it is evaluated that the WhatsApp message constitutes an offer. It is clearly identified from the message that the man is ready to pay each of his children a sum of R1 million provided he wons R20 million. This is a clear identification of an offer made, and it is aimed at creating legal relations. Apart from this, there is also a clear evidence of acceptance in the given case scenario.
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