Inaugural address: Professor Monray Marsellus Botha

Posted on February 06, 2017

The Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria cordially invites you to the inaugural address by Professor Monray Marsellus Botha, Head of the Department of Mercantile Law, titled, 'First do no harm! On oaths, social contracts and other promises: navigating the labyrinth’.


Date: Monday, 6 March 2017

Time: 18:00 for 18:30

Venue: Senate Hall, Hatfield Campus, University of Pretoria

RSVP: to [email protected] on or before Monday, 13 February 2017 

Enquiries: Send an email to the RSVP address or telephone +27 (0) 12 420 2363


Persons with physical disabilities who require assistance are requested to phone +27 (0)12 420 2363. Although provision will be made for most dietary requirements, please feel free to inform us should you have any special requirements.

Please respond as soon as possible, as seats are limited.



'First do no harm! On oaths, social contracts and other promises: navigating the labyrinth'

Can't find the exit

Can't find the way out

All you can think is to back out

What's the point of giving up

When you just only live once

You won many battles in your life

So that's why you got this far

From being a kid to being an adult

From being an amateur to being a pro

Life's a labyrinth

You just need to try

and try

Until you find the door for success

- Zed Rapadas, 11 June 2014


Corporations are dominant economic institutions: they govern our lives and determine what we eat, what we watch, what we wear, where we work and what we do. Their culture, iconography and ideology surround us: they dictate to governments, their supposed overseers, and exercise control over society at large. Corporations govern in the manner of states.

One of the fundamental changes to the corporate law domain in South Africa came about with the introduction of the Companies Act 71 of 2008. The Companies Act crosses the corporate Rubicon by extending the company's obligations beyond the parameters of traditional South African company law and expressly recognises the significant societal role of enterprises. It acknowledges and makes provision for the fact that companies must reaffirm the concept of the company as a means of achieving economic and social benefits and enhancing the welfare of South Africa as a partner in the global economy.

The governing body of a company should consider the legitimate and reasonable needs, interests and expectations of all material stakeholders in the execution of its duties, and act in the best interests of the organisation. This approach to company governance is inclusive and stakeholder-centric, in contrast with a shareholder-centric approach, and creates a moral obligation to stakeholders other than shareholders in the form of a 'social contract'. Companies obtain various benefits from society, such as the recognition of a separate legal personality and the regulatory framework within which it operates. In return, companies have obligations, as required by the 'social contract', such as having to comply with human rights imperatives. One of these obligations is 'to do no harm', yet companies may also be required to take positive steps to improve the society in which they operate by achieving social benefits.


Click here to view this invitation in PDF format.



- Author Faculty of Law

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