AUSI NTHABI

Move! - - CONTENTS -

Q I WANT TO SUE THE PO­LICE

I re­cently called the po­lice dur­ing a do­mes­tic fight and they failed to come. Can I sue the po­lice for fail­ing to do their job? ANONY­MOUS, MAMELODI

APo­lice have a le­gal obli­ga­tion to pro­tect all cit­i­zens and if they are called, be it in pub­lic or pri­vate area, they must at­tend to the com­plaint. If they are called dur­ing a do­mes­tic squab­ble and they fail to come, they can be sued. How­ever, you need to prove that their fail­ure to come re­sulted in you be­ing as­saulted or suf­fer­ing an act of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, which re­sulted in fi­nan­cial loss – in­clud­ing loss of in­come and medical costs. The min­is­ter of po­lice must be sued for fail­ure of the po­lice to per­form their le­gal du­ties.

Q DEBT COL­LEC­TOR HARASSES ME

I have a debt col­lec­tor who keeps ha­rass­ing me in front of my col­leagues. Al­though I have in­formed him that I do not have money to pay and will pay when I am fi­nan­cially ready, he keeps on com­ing to my work­place. What can I do? ANONY­MOUS, DUR­BAN

AA debt col­lec­tor is not al­lowed to threaten or in­tim­i­date you. When they do, you must re­port this un­eth­i­cal be­hav­iour to the Coun­cil for Debt Col­lec­tors on 012 804 9808. The coun­cil has a le­gal obli­ga­tion to in­ves­ti­gate your com­plaint. If they find the debt col­lec­tor guilty, the debt col­lec­tor’s reg­is­tra­tion can be with­drawn. They can be sus­pended or fined.

Q AM I STILL MAR­RIED?

I have been told that my mar­riage is void. What does this mean? ANONY­MOUS, EMALAHLENI

AA mar­riage that is void is in­valid and that mar­riage is re­garded as if it has never ex­isted. This hap­pens if the for­mal re­quire­ments to en­ter into the mar­riage were not com­plied with. For ex­am­ple, a per­son gets mar­ried to some­one who al­ready has an ex­ist­ing spouse or the pas­tor who solem­nised the mar­riage was not a mar­riage of­fi­cer. Spouses whose mar­riage is de­clared void can get mar­ried again at Home Af­fairs, if they still want to get mar­ried.

Q I WANT TO FOS­TER MY NEIGH­BOUR’S KIDS

I would like to fos­ter my neigh­bour’s chil­dren. I am un­happy with their home sit­u­a­tion as they are looked af­ter by a very frail and old grand­mother. I am still young, have a job and be­lieve I can give them a more sta­ble and proper up­bring­ing. What are the le­gal re­quire­ments? ANONY­MOUS, POLOK­WANE

AYou must be over the age of 18 and be a South African cit­i­zen or for­eign cit­i­zen who has a per­ma­nent res­i­dency in South Africa. You need to visit the Depart­ment of So­cial Devel­op­ment and ap­ply to be a fos­ter par­ent.

Once you have ap­plied, a so­cial worker will be ap­pointed and if your ap­pli­ca­tion is ap­proved, the mat­ter will be re­ferred to the Chil­dren’s Court for a court or­der.

Once a court or­der has been ob­tained, you can con­tact the South Africa So­cial Se­cu­rity Agency and ap­ply for a fos­ter child grant to help you take care of the chil­dren.

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.