How to find a divorce lawyer in Cape Town, South Africa

Domestic abuse

Recently newspaper headlines reported on an incident which allegedly ocurred between former Springbok rugby player Percy Montgomery and his wife Tasmin in a hotel in Umhlanga where Percy allegedly assaulted her and was locked up for a night. The charge of assault was made on a Sunday and Percy appeared in court on the Monday and was released on bail.

In the heat of an argument between the married couple, Percy was alleged to have squeezed Tasmin's leg and thrown a punch at her. Tasmin and Percy later however confirmed that the argument was a normal one that occurs from time to time between any married couple, and that all that really happened in the end was that a piece of furniture had been struck.

Tasmin withdrew the charge of assualt which she had laid against Percy in the end. The couple expressed regret that a ten minute argument of this nature could make newspaper headlines. If it were any other couple it would not have made headlines.

It just amazes me how so many of the divorce cases I deal with also involve a domestic violence matter. Some are a lot more serious than others. I am currently busy with a divorce where the man applied for a protection order against his wife requesting that she refrain from phoning him or entering his place of employment. One of the reasons he gave for his application was that “the house was always dirty” and that “her brother was having sexual relations with other women on his bed”.

In certain instances when a client who has been served with a protection order application asks me whether they should oppose it I advise them that it may be in their interests to do so. It is very time consuming to go to oppose such an application. It all depends on what relief the applicant is seeking in the application.

Recent newspaper headlines also report on a “love triangle” which went wrong in Saldanha, where an angry ex-boyfriend shot dead a 21 year old junior municipal clerk and her boss before shoting himself in the head. One of the parties who was killed was Saldanha's head of housing, Roderick Pretorius, 39.

The abovementioned example is just becoming so common in South Africa nowadays. What is particularly sad is that Pretorius had a wife and two children. The two children now have to grow up without a father.

It is just so amazing how often the police have to intervene when a couple are not capable of resolving problems in their relationship between themselves. These complaints are, sadly enough, not always properly dealt with by the police, and when they are not properly dealt with, it could result in tragedy at a later stage.

Our police very often focus on other crimes like drug possession, assault, housebreaking and the like and ignore complaints of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse should be regarded as a very serious offence.


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