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Mike Otis
Mike Otis, Legal Advisor
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2161
Experience:  B.Comm; LL.B; LL.M.
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My neighbour insulted our black gardner because he was

Customer Question

My neighbour insulted our black gardner because he was cutting the hedge bordering the boundary wall using a ladder. She accused our Gardner (Alfred) of peering over the wall (he was on the ladder to get some height as the hedge is tall) and practically branded him as a potential criminal wanting to do her harm.
Needless to say my wife heard the commotion and promptly confronted this woman regarding her attitude and verbal abuse/racial remarks directed towards Alfred. The next thing the woman had a mega-tantrum, shouting and screaming at my wife and Alfred incoherently. My wife walked away from the scene and apologised to Alfred for the neighbours unwarranted outburst and racial slurs.
A little while later the neighbour came to our front door in tears apologising for the outburst and insults. Of course the damage had been done and my wife said she was not interested in her apologies and that she must leave. On that note she again turned nasty and stormed away hurling more abuse. Alfred was working in the front and witnessed the whole event.
During the initial confrontation my wife managed to record most of the altercation that took place between her and the woman. I would like to take matters further and want to know if I can open up a case of crimen injuria against the woman at our local police station and, if so, what is the correct procedure.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Mike Otis replied 2 years ago.

The procedure for laying criminal charges are fairly straightforward. All you have to do is to go to your local police station, tell officer at the charge office that you want to lay criminal charges and then make a statement about what happened. Please note, however, that your wife and/or, Alfred will have to lay the charges as they were the victims of the abuse. Your involvement, unless you personally witnesses any of the insults, will be limited to maybe supporting your wife through the process.

The recordings will also be important and you should inform the police of this.

Alternative remedies available to your wife and Alfred would be to claim damages for defamation or infringement of dignity by way of a civil claim or via the Equality Courts.

Yours faithfully,

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. Can the civil claim and the criminal case, as outlined in your answer, run concurrently?
2. The fee I paid for this service is a once off amount? There will be no further recurring amounts deducted from my credit card. Is this correct?
Expert:  Mike Otis replied 2 years ago.

1. The criminal and civil matter are separate and can run concurrently.

2. I'm not in a position to answer the question about your usage of this website. Like you, I am also just a user. I do know, however, that there are two payment options. One is where you pay per answer and the other is a monthly subscription. It would depend on what option you chose when you signed up.

Yours faithfully,