Frequently Asked Questions
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Legal Aid South Africa provides professional legal advice and representation to those who can’t afford it. Visit their website for information or call them on the Legal Aid Advice Toll Free Line: 0800 110 110
- Apostille Certificates or a Certificate of Authentication
In South Africa the Department of International Relations and Co-Operations are the administrators of this process. Consular notarial services are rendered to South African citizens and foreign nationals requiring South African official (public) documents to be legalised for use abroad. These services are rendered to provide legal validity to South African official (public) documents to enable a person to use the documents outside the Republic of South Africa. Legalising documents means that official (public) documents executed within the Republic of South Africa for use outside the Republic of South Africa are affixed, sealed and signed either with an Apostille Certificate (where countries are signatory to the Apostille Convention) or with a Certificate of Authentication (where countries are not signatory to the Apostille Convention).
- Divorce - Legal Aid South Africa's Self-Help Guide to Obtaining a Decree of Divorce.
This guide is designed to assist you in obtaining a decree of divorce in a Regional Court in South Africa. It gives general information only and doesn’t take the place of legal advice. Obviously, it also cannot provide specific advice about your divorce only a lawyer can do that (and help you to protect all of your rights). Follow this link fot the "Obtaining a Decree of Divorce" flow chart.
- Domestic Violence
- Drafting legislation
- Equality Courts/Discrimination
- Expungement/removal of criminal records
- Getting married - The solemnisation and registration of civil marriages, customary marriages and civil unions are managed by the Department of Home Affairs. Civil marriages are governed by the Marriage Act and regulations issued in terms of the Act. South Africa also recognizes customary marriages through the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, which became effective in November 2000. Civil unions are recognised in terms of the Civil Union Act (2006).
- Intermediary Services provided in Courts
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) People
- Master of the High Court: General
- Master of the High Court: Guardian's Fund
- Master of the High Court: Wills
- National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO)
- Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA)
- Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA)
- Rationalisation of Magisterial Districts
- Restorative Justice
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Offences
- Small Claims Court
- The Children's Act and adoption
- The Family Advocate
- 419 Scams (So-called advance fee fraud)
How to lodge a complaint:
- Against a service point/court/Master’s
Complaints on the conduct of the Clerks/Administration should be lodged with the Court Manager at that office for his/her attention.
Complaints on the conduct of the Court Manager should be lodged with the Area Court Manager or Director, Court Operations for his/her attention.
- Against a lawyer/attorney through the relevant law society
- Against a prosecutor through the NPA.
Complaints on the conduct of the Prosecutors should be lodged with the Chief Prosecutor for the area of the respective court.
You can also call the NPA Hotline 0800 21 25 80, operated by an independent organization, available 24 hours a day. Anonymous calls accepted.
- Against a member of the South African Police Service through their website or via the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID)
- Against a Sheriff through the South African Board for Sheriffs
- Against a Magistrate through the Magistrates Commission
- Against a Judge through the Judicial