Communities get the following services from courts near to them:
Contact details for all lower courts (magistrate's courts, branch courts and periodical courts) are available on the website of Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
A post mortem examination or autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death following an unnatural death.
The autopsy is done at an Forensic Pathology Laboratory in the area where the death took place. The pathology medical practitioner will issue a death certificate and the body will be released for burial once the autopsy has been completed. This may take some time.
You can find more answers on the Forensic Pathology Service page on the Western Cape Provincial Government's website.
South African Police Service
In a case of domestic violence or sexual assault, the South African Police Service will help you find:
SAPS emergency number: 10111
People Opposed to Woman Abuse (Powa)
Powa provides counselling, both over the phone and in person, temporary shelter for and legal help to women who have experienced violence.
There are different procedures, depending on the nature of the complaint. Follow the link for the appropriate procedure:
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (Sexual Offences Amendment Act or SOAA) protects any person who has experienced any of the following:
The Familty Advocate is an unbiased family law specialist and advisor to the court in cases of legal disputes over custody and parental rights. The office also drafts parenting plans, conducts child psychological evaluations together with social workers and mediates between families where the welfare of a child is at stake.
You can apply for expungement of your criminal record in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, to the Director-General: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
Expungement of a criminal record is a process by which a criminal record of a convicted offender is removed from the criminal record database of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service.
This allows you to carry on with life without a criminal record being an obstruction to employment opportunities.
An affidavit is a written statement made under oath. This means that the person who is making the statement has sworn that the document contains the truth and is aware that they will be prosecuted if it is found that the contents of the affidavit (or parts thereof) are untrue. An affidavit is often needed when you have to get a copy of a lost document, or when a child is travelling with one parent or a school group.
An affidavit can be made at any police station where you will be given a form to use.
When someone is arrested, they are presumed not guilty until the court finds them guilty. In our law no one may be detained without trial. If an accused is arrested, they are normally kept in prison or the police cells till the trial is finalised to ensure they attend the court case.
If the accused does not want to remain in prison until the finalisation of the trial, they may apply to the court to be released on warning, or on warning with some conditions attached, or on bail (with or without conditions). Bail is a sum of money paid to the court or to the police.
Children or mentally disabled persons under the mental or biological age of eighteen (18) years who would be exposed to undue mental stress or suffering if they were to testify in an open court, may testify through an intermediary. For this to happen, the prosecutor will have to prove to the court that the child will experience undue mental stress or suffering during the court process.
If you have been a witness to a crime where someone has been arrested, you might be expected to testify in court.
The police will serve you a notice to appear in court. You will need to remain there until you have testified. You could be arrested if you do not obey the official notice (subpoena).
If you are employed, you must tell your employer that you have received a subpoena. Your employer must let you go to court.
The South African Criminal Justice System has six main parts.
Fraud or corruption in the public service should be reported as it:
You do not have to give your name when reporting fraud or corruption using: