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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1560
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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I banged on my neighbour's window. It broke. I called glass

Customer Question

I banged on my neighbour's window. It broke. I called glass repair. in meantime, she got it fixed and is charging me with malicious damage to property. How should i react?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 11 months ago.

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.

Malicious damage to property is the unlawful and intentional damaging of property that belongs to another person and this is a crime in South African law.

This damage must be to something physical like harming your dog or other pets or live stock, or intentional damage to any other possession of yours like your furniture, lawnmower a building, a motor vehicle or any other tangible thing and it must be real and cause you financial lost, for instance if the restoration of property cost the owner money, the damage had been done.

Any such damage must be intended to damage your property and not be accidental damage.

If something is due to negligence like a car accident then such a person cannot be charged with malicious damage to property because there was no intention.

In your instance, you said that you accidentally broke a neighbour's window because you banged it too hard.

In my opinion, that doesn't sound as if you intended breaking the window. At best, ***** ***** as if you were negligent in banging the window too hard while knowing that it "might" break.

In my opinion you need to speak to the police (the investigating officer) alternatively the prosecutor and tell them that (i) you will offer to reimburse your neighbour for the costs of the repairs; and (ii) that you never intended breaking the window; and (iii) that it was an accident at best.

They should then withdraw the charges.

Perhaps you can also explain this to your neighbour, and tell her to please withdraw the charges!

If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - dont just rate my answer as "bad".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for now. I will revert once the detective comes to see me.
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 11 months ago.

It would be nice if you could leave some feedback now, and then come back to the same page once the detective has visited you with further questions?! :-)

Expert:  CaseLaw replied 10 months ago.

Hi there again,

I see that you've read my answer and I hope that you understood the answer and that it was useful? If you have a further question please ask it, or if you need clarity on the answer please let me know.

If you're happy that I've answered your question, please leave positive feedback for me.