Legal support

FSS talk on Wills, Trusts and Curatorship

Wills, Trusts and Curatorship

Summary of a talk given by attorney Schalk de Wet, Basson Blackburn Inc Consultant, at the October 2022 online meeting of Family Support for Schizophrenia. Extracted from FSS newsletters.

Legal assistance

South African Federation for Mental Health – SAFMH

Finding legal assistance
SAFMH does not provide its own legal services but tries to facilitate access to justice by referring matters to legal entities if possible. Thereafter the client is responsible for communicating directly with the organisation to whom they have been referred. SAFMH cannot guarantee whether the legal partner will be able to assist, nor the outcome.

Pro bono legal support
SAFMH advises that in some cases, pro bono legal support is available when one cannot afford the services of an attorney. It is important to note that free legal advice is possible to obtain, but free legal representation is not that easy to obtain. Persons seeking pro bono legal services are normally asked for a means test to determine whether they would qualify for pro bono legal support.

Organisations offering pro bono legal support

Legal Aid South Africa

Legal Aid South Africa provides professional legal advice and representation to those who cannot afford it. It tries to help as many people as possible, including vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly, disabled and the rural poor.


ProBono.Org provides legal assistance to the indigent and vulnerable. It screens, matches and refers clients with civil cases to private lawyers who have volunteered their services on a pro bono basis.

Applying for a protection order

At some stage you may need to apply for a protection order to prevent your loved one from harming or intimidating you in a situation regarded as domestic violence

Procedures and forms

South African Police Services 

A protection order aims at preventing the reoccurrence of domestic violence or sexual harassment by stating what conduct the alleged offender must refrain from doing. As long as the respondent complies with the protection order, the complainant will be safe. If the respondent contravenes any stipulation of the protection order, they may be arrested. Once a protection order is granted, it is enforceable throughout the country.

Click here for the SAPS information sheet on Applying for a protection order


Click here for Form 1 – Notice to complainant
Click here for Form 2 – Application for a protection order

Summary from an FSS member 

The following summary was provided by an FSS member who needed to get a protection order against her son.

  • You need to complete Form 2 to apply for a protection order.
  • You add all the documents you can to substantiate.
  • You have to go to a magistrate’s court (not all magistrate’s courts do this so you have to find out which one in your district does it).
  • They will issue a temporary protection order and give you a date for ahearing for a permanent protection order.
  • The magistrate’s court gives SAPS a copy to give to the respondent (this can take up to 10 days!) but it is effective immediately.
  • No cost. Just a lot of time!


Domestic violence and protection orders
Click here for a useful Quicklaw guide by LegalWise