Mark Oppenheimer

Admission to Society of Advocates: 2009


BA, BSocSci (Honours in Philosophy), LLB (UCT)

Areas of Practice: Constitutional, Contracts, Delict, Insurance, Labour, Media, Property


Mark has a special interest in constitutional law, municipal law, and commercial disputes.  He has published articles about property rights, freedom of expression and affirmative action. He has been called upon for legal commentary on both TV and radio. He also hosts the podcast ‘Freedom Versus’ on Cliffcentral.


At the University of Cape Town, he taught a series of classes on moral philosophy and he went on to lecture law at Varsity College. Mark has produced submissions to parliament, the Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Recent / Major Cases:

South African Human Rights Commission v Khumalo [2018] ZAGPJHC 528

An Equality Court case which held that statements published by Velaphi Khumalo calling for the mass killing of white people constituted hate speech. The court also held that the test for hate speech in the Equality Act requires words that are hurtful, incite harm and propagate hatred against a protected group.

Jordaan and Others v City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and Others 2017 (6) SA 287 (CC)

A Constitutional Court case which decided that property purchasers are not liable to pay municipalities the historical debts that were incurred by sellers. Mark acted for the 4th Amicus to assist the court in determining whether conveyancers would have had a duty to inform purchasers of the existence of historical debt.

Argent Industrial Investment (Pty) Ltd v Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality 2017 (3) SA 146 (GJ)

An application to reverse water charges that had prescribed. The judgement sets out a municipality’s obligations in reading meters and collecting debt. In the circumstances a large portion of the Applicants debt was written off based on prescription.

Pillay Verashni vs Afriforum and MMA and SANEF

An appeal before the Press Council on whether an article calling for white men to be denied the right to vote amounted to hate speech or discriminatory speech in terms of the press code.

Huysamen and Another v Absa Bank Limited Others [2017] ZAGPPHC 611

An application to set aside a sale in execution after transfer had occurred. The case deals with the intersection between property law and the law of insolvency.

Friedshelf 837 (Pty) Ltd v City of Johannesburg and Others [2015] ZAGPJHC 49

An application to reverse electricity charges. The prior owner of the building had entered into an agreement with the City to have a large supply of electricity reserved for its use. The City attempted to impose this agreement on the new owner.

City of Johannesburg v Zoo Lake Bowling Club [2014] ZAGPJHC 317

An eviction application that turned on whether the eviction should be stayed pending the outcome of an impending review application.

Armaments Corporation of South Africa v CCMA [2014] 1 BLLR 56 (LC)

An urgent application to stay a CCMA hearing pending the outcome of a review. The case establishes the test for when such stays will be granted.

Gwaxula v Road Accident Fund [2013] ZAGPJHC 240

The Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident. He was unemployed at the time of the accident and had been unemployed for 18 years over a 30-year period. The court was asked to determine the appropriate contingency deduction for his future loss of earnings.

Published Articles:

Business Day Security Industry Bill’s Effect is Far More than 51%

Business Day New Law Poses Threat to Property Rights

Business Brief EWC is an Assault on the Constitutional Right to Dignity

City Press A New Blackprint for South Africa

Helen Suzman Foundation’s Focus The New Affirmative Action

Institute for Race Relations’ @Liberty Non-Racial Affirmative Action in Employment

Jewish Report Human Rights and Missed Opportunities

Jewish Report Enabling Artistic Freedom and Tolerance

Jewish Report Looking Through the Lens of Freedom

Media Online Zuma’s Investment Strategy

Media Online Censorship Rears its Ugly Head

Politicsweb The Investment Bill: Is it Constitutional?

Politicsweb The Legal Profession’s Degrading Election

Politicsweb Evaluating the New Hate Speech Bill

Rational Standard Free Speech: A Vanishing Right

Responsa Meridiana The Constitutional Right to Freedom of Expression

Sunday Times Six Myths about Land Reform that Show the Folly of Meddling with the Bill of Rights

Without Prejudice Getting Clever in Devastating Times

Without Prejudice Triumph for the Right to Write



Oral Submission to Parliament on S25 Review of Constitution

Written Submission to Parliament on S25 Review of Constitution

Further Written Submission to Parliament on S25 Review of Constitution

Early warning report to United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Submission to Parliament on Films and Publications Amendment Bill

Submission to Parliament on Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill

Submission to South African Human Rights Commission


Media Appearances

ANN7 on Oscar Pistorius sentence hearing

ANN7 on Oscar Pistorius sentence verdict

Biznews on Expropriation Without Compensation

Business Day TV on the Private Security Bill

CNBC Africa on the Private Security Bill

Cliff Central on Hate Speech Bill

Cliff Central on Hate Speech and Free Speech

Cliff Central on Non-Racial Affirmative Action

eNCA on Ford Kuga and product liability

eNCA on Student Protests

eNCA on Legal Practice Counsel

Freedom Versus Podcast Series

Konteks on Hate Speech Bill

Kyknet on SAHRC v Velaphi Khumalo

Pretoria FM on Expropriation Without Compensation

Rational Standard Podcast on Expropriation Without Compensation

Renaldo Gouws Sunday Debate

Renaldo Gouws Live Show

Renegade Report on Free Speech

Renegade Report on Dangers of Hate Speech

SABC News on the Private Security Bill

SABC News on S25 Review of Constitution

Voice of the Cape on Non-Racial Affirmative Action

Verity on Expropriation Without Compensation

Verity on Freedom of Speech


Conference Appearances

Afriforum on Hate Speech

Afriforum on Confronting Racism Consistently

Free Market Foundation on Escalating Racial Tensions

Free Market Foundation on Free Speech

Friedrich Naumann Institute on Affirmative Action

Rotary Club on Expropriation Without Compensation

SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Private Security Bill

SA Institute for International Affairs on Foreign Investment

Sakeliga on Expropriation Without Compensation

Solidarity on Stopping Racism

Mark Oppenheimer

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