‘I’M STRUGGLING TO FIND A JOB BECAUSE OF A CRIMINAL RECORD’
Nthabiseng Monareng holds an LLB from Wits University and is studying for her LLM. Nthabi has more than 10 years experience in the legal field, specialising as a family law expert. She’s written books on family law and is a family law mediator.
I WANT TO CLEAR RECORD? I had a criminal record after I was convicted in 2009 for stealing an item that cost less than R100. I was given a five-year suspended sentence. I am now struggling to get a job because of this criminal record. What can I do? ANONYMOUS, SOWETO
You need to follow the legal process of expungement. This is a process by which a criminal record is removed from the database of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service. This will allow you to carry on with life without any problems. A criminal record is removed after 10 years, through an application, to the Department of Justice.
Since you were convicted in 2009, the 10-year period has not yet passed.
You need to bring a high court application and ask for an order that the criminal record be removed before the 10-year period.
COURT CASE AGAINST A PARENT
Does a child have a right to bring a court case against their parent? ANONYMOUS, MAHIKENG
In terms of the Children’s Act, every child has the right to bring and also to be assisted in bringing a case to court. This therefore allows a child to bring a case against their parent.
If the child is afraid, they can be assisted in bringing the matter to court by a relative, social worker or any other person who is acting in the best interest of the child.
HUSBAND REFUSES TO LET ME BUY A CAR
I am married in community of property and I want to buy a car but my husband is refusing to give his consent. How can I enter into a financial transaction without his consent? ANONYMOUS, UMLAZI A spouse married in community of property may obtain a court order for consent to enter into certain financial transactions when their spouse refuses to give their consent and their refusal is unreasonable.
The court application must be brought to the high court and the court will only grant the consent if there are good reasons why they should disregard the consent of the husband.
If you are buying a car, it is unlikely that the court will grant the order, as a car is something a spouse can do without, unless if you need it for work purposes.
ARE SEX OFFENDERS BLACKLISTED?
If a male adult has been convicted of a sexual crime, is there a place where they are blacklisted so that they do not have to work with children again? For example, a teacher who has impregnated a 12-year-old child. ANONYMOUS, EMALAHLENI
Anyone who has been convicted of a sexual offence have their details recorded in the national sex offender register that is administered by the Department of Justice.
They register only sexual offenders who are convicted of sexual offences against children and mentally disabled people.
If a teacher has been found guilty of sexually abusing a child, his details will be recorded in the sexual offences registry and this means he may never be allowed to teach again.