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Grounds for issuing protection orders

 

The Domestic Violence Act and the grounds upon which someone can apply for a protection order against their ex partner. The definition of a 'domestic relationship' and the types of abuse in terms of that Act for purposes of issuing such order

man & woman yelling

An interesting case which appeared in Noseweek dealing with protection orders involved that of ex Bishops gentleman. This was in fact the same school I went to. According to the publications he had had a six month relationship with a certain lady, who had been a fashion designer. 

According to the reports this fashion designer and another lady, had teamed up to have him served with protection order papers. The second lady had also been in a relationship with this ex Bishops gentleman, according to reports. At one point the ex Bishops gentleman, on his version, tried to put distance between himself and the fashion design lady. She had then allegedly sent him Facebook messages. Two of the Facebook messages read as follows:

On 15 March 2009 at 11:07pm: “Hi there! How are you? I am lying in my bed and thinking…I miss you and miss having you in my life and I would love to have you back in it…I do have a lot of issues, I know, and I suppose I am a difficult woman at times…In the same breath, I could have made the biggest tit out of myself now, because you might have someone else…Deep down inside I hope you miss me as much as I miss you!...I don’t want you to feel that I am pressurizing you...”

On 21 April 2009: “Hallo Col, you must think I am crazy…I just read the mail I sent you on Sunday and it was a bit intense…It feels like my life is falling apart…”


A few months after he had ended things with her, he started a relationship with the second lady. He removed the fashion designer as a friend on Facebook. His relationship with this other lady also then came to an end and they teamed up to apply for a protection order against him. One of the reasons given in the protection order by her was that he had not paid tax to SARS. The said gentleman however denied this. He then went to seek legal advice. In his opposing papers it was stated that the application amounted to a mockery of the Domestic Violence Act.

The gentleman in his opposing papers also made mention that he had never lived together with the applicant, which is one of the requirements of the Domestic Violence Act. Eventually the application for the protection order was withdrawn by fashion designer. By this stage the gentleman had incurred unnecessary legal costs.

It often happens in protection order matters that people lie in order to get the upper hand. If a lady opens a protection order application against a man, without valid reasons, even if the application is eventually dismissed, that man will forever be branded with the stigma of a domestic violence charge. People will think that that man just goes around beating up women.

Failure to pay tax to SARS is not a valid ground for obtaining a protection order against somebody. You must be able to prove that some form of domestic violence has been committed. If an interim order is granted, and on the return date the court is not satisfied, it will not confirm the order.


 

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