JC Van der Walt and Rob Midgley define a delict “in general terms [. . .] as a civil wrong,” and more narrowly as “wrongful and blameworthy conduct which causes harm to a person” (2005: par. 2). Negligence (culpa) occurs where there is an inadequate standard of behaviour. It reflects the law’s disapproval of the defendant’s conduct. The conduct is tested against what the reasonable person in the position of the defendant would have foreseen and what he would have done to avoid the consequences (Kruger v Coetzee 1966 (2) SA 428 (A)).

Scenario: The Grade 4 learners at Disney Primary were taken to the aquarium for their annual excursion. Group B was assigned to their form educator, Mrs Elsa. She had ensured
that all indemnity forms were signed by parents and guardians before embarking on the excursion.

With much excitement on the bus and at the aquarium, Mrs Elsa continuously enforced order and discipline. She even repeatedly told the learners to stay within their assigned group and kept a watchful eye on them ensuring that they do not touch anything at the aquarium.

One of the learners Minnie, who was assigned to Group B was captivated by a “glowing” fish in a gigantic tank in the distance whilst the rest of Group B and Mrs Elsa were still paying attention to the talk that was being delivered by the guide. Mrs Elsa had noticed Minnie being distracted and called her name to remind her to pay attention to the guide as they could be tested on the talk during their Life Science lesson back at school. At the same time, another learner, Donald had knocked his knee on a wooden box which was part of the décor, and he began to cry. Whilst Mrs Elsa was consoling Donald, Minnie wandered off towards the tank with the “glowing” fish, again. Within minutes, she was nowhere to be found. After much panic and searching, the staff at the aquarium had managed to locate her. Minnie was found unconscious, in a corner after sustaining a deep cut to her head and a fractured leg.

Minnie’s parents are now extremely furious and want to institute legal action against the Mrs Elsa and the school for negligence. With clear reference to the above scenario discuss negligence in a legal context.

Your discussion must include reference to the relevant law. Consult legislation, case law, academic articles, your prescribed book and knowledge gathered from various possible scenarios presented in lectures/ additional notes/resources that were uploaded on the LMS.

The essay should be structured using the FIRAC method which will be explained in detail during lectures/via resources on the LMS. It must be presented in paragraphs with a sequential flow. You may use sub-headings if it helps with understanding and setting-out the argument. However, you MUST include signposts within the paragraphs, for example, “In this essay, one will…” and “In closing”, “Ultimately”.

Get Answers on Above Law Question

Answer 1: Negligence on the parts of any of the parties involved is crucial to be identified. In the given case scenario, there is an issue of negligence where by A grade four learner was injured when taken to the aquarium during a school excursion. It is important to identify as to whether the school is responsible for the negligence, or if it is the mistake on the part of the children itself. The essay aims at applying FIRAC method in order to evaluate the facts in the given case, and identifying the rule that can be applied in solving the issue of negligence.

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