Legal Aid gives you your day in court – free!
28th September 2017
Legal Aid Durban gives you a voice in a court of law if you become involved in legal issues.
With this plan you get –
- Your day in court at no cost to you
- Legal help from the State
- Access to free legal advice if you do not earn much
- You also get free legal help as an asylum seeker
Legal Aid Durban – when You’re on the Wrong side of the Law
A crime index poll shows that four of the most dangerous cities in the world are in South Africa. Great! One of them is Durban. Living in a city like this means you’re going to need legal aid if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
With such a bad reputation there will come a time when you need the services of a lawyer. But what happens if you can’t afford to hire one? For people earning less than R5 000 each month, Legal Aid Durban can help you.
Legal Aid Durban uses Four service Delivery channels –
- Justice Centres
- Special Litigation
- Cooperation agreements
- Other cost-effective ways of accessing justice
The Justice Centres work like law firms. Each centre has a principal attorney, who is the head of the firm. Legal Aid South Africa has opened 32 of these centres, all of which provide legal aid throughout the country.
The Legal Aid South Africa Act came into force in 2014 and the Centres, usually found near courts, comply with the new Act. Each centre serves between 10 and 20 courts. Legal Aid provides legal advice to about 736,679 people throughout the country each year.
Legal Aid Durban Address –
Durban Justice Centre, Principal: Ms Nomsa Nkosi. Telephone: 031 304 0100. Fax: 031 304 3564. Address: Suite 401, 4th Floor, Salisbury House, 330 Smith Street, Durban, 4001. Postal address: P.O. Box 4397, Durban, 4000. Docex address: Docex 214.
Legal representation For the Poor
Established by the Legal Aid Act of 1969, Legal Aid made legal representation affordable for poor people. The help is provided for at State expense, and ensures that every citizen of South Africa has access to justice.
The mission of Legal Aid Durban is to be a leading provider of professional legal services. There are however rules and conditions under which aid is granted. These are set out in a booklet known as the Legal Aid Guide. It can be obtained free of charge from a legal aid officer appointed in each of the magisterial districts in South Africa.
There are Limitations to Free legal Advice
The first thing anybody should do before seeking legal aid is to find out whether you actually qualify on the basis of income. If you are in any doubt call your Justice Centre for assistance. Look at the Means Test below and if see you qualify –
- If you apply on the basis of income, you won’t be granted aid if you earn enough to pay for the legal aid yourself. Your assets are taken into account as well as cash deposits in your bank account.
- If you are employed, your earnings must be less than R5,500.00 per month after tax.
- Households, where the income is less than R6 000 per month, may qualify depending on the circumstances and how many people live there.
- Legal Aid looks at whether you own a house and what your belongings are. If you don’t own a house, the total value of all your belongings should not exceed a certain amount.
There are Some people who Do qualify for Legal aid –
- Those who receive a state grant or an old age pension. If you fall into this category you won’t have to take the Means Test.
- Children qualify for legal aid. If it is a civil case, the family of the child will need to take the Means Test.
- Legal aid is available to Asylum seekers applying for Asylum under Chapters 3 & 4 of the Refugees Act 130 of 1998.
Are you a Deliberate misfit?
Legal aid isn’t approved without checks and balances. The legal aid officer in Durban may be satisfied that the person is unemployed, but if it is discovered that they are a deliberate misfit and, as a result of their own misconduct, keeps landing on the wrong side of the law, no legal aid will be provided.
If you qualify for Legal Aid Durban, you won’t have to pay for anything. If you come across a lawyer with Legal Aid who demands payment from you, you can report the lawyer to the Ethics Hotline on 0800 153 728. However, although you don’t pay for legal aid, if you do win a civil case, Legal Aid will deduct the money that the court grants to pay for costs.
If you think you qualify for legal aid, contact Legal Aid Durban – it can make life a lot easier knowing that there is a professional lawyer who will fight for your cause. You can’t deny people access to legal help just because they’re not financially able to pay a lawyer.
A Right to Legal Counsel
While there is a right to legal counsel for those facing criminal court, for those in civil courts, there isn’t such a guarantee. In South Africa today, there is domestic violence, divorce, custody battles and labour issues going on around the clock, and without legal aid, these issues would never be sorted out.
All info was correct at time of publishing