Hi there and thank you for your question,
I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.
In civil cases a person (person A) has 3 years to sue the other person (person B). If person A doesn't sue person B within that 3 year period, then person B will be entitled to raise a plea (defence) of prescription. Basically this means that person A has delayed for so long that person B is entitled to be let off the hook. Prescrption is a "complete" defence, which means that once you've proved the 3 year period that's the end of the case.
Criminal matters are different, and they prescribe after 30 years.
Yes you can sue for emotional stress, but the damages would be seriously limited. Like a few thousand Rands at most. And a lawyer will cost more than that, so it's probably not worth it. Also, the emotional stress would need to be such that you simply can't function. It must be SEVERE. You can't work, you can't sleep, etc.
If you want to look at the Act, Google the "Prescription Act South Africa" - it's not actually a long Act to read.
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Good luck and best regards,