A

ACCIDENT REPORT

An official document containing all the details of the accident.

ACCUSED

A person who has allegedly committed a criminal offence like theft, rape or murder.

ANTE NUPTIAL CONTRACT

A contract entered into to regulate a marriage out of community of property with/without the accrual system. An ante nuptial contract must be signed by the persons entering into a marriage, two witnesses and a notary public, and it must be registered in the Deeds Registries Office within the prescribed time period.

B

BANK GUARANTEE

A letter of undertaking from the bank that the purchase price of the property will be paid upon its registration in the Deeds Office.

BEQUEST

The distribution of property in terms of a Will.

C

CANCELLATION OF A COURT ORDER

For example, a mother finds out that her child is being abused by his/her father and applies to the court to have the order in respect of contact cancelled.

CARE

The right of a parent to have his/her child reside primarily with him/her and to control or supervise the daily life of that child.

CAREGIVER

A person other than a parent or guardian who has the right to care for a child. Care is the right of that person to have a child reside primarily with him/her and to control or supervise the daily life of that child.

CHANGING OF COURT ORDER

For example, a father decides that he would like to see his child every 2 months instead of every alternate weekend, because he is moving from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

CHILD BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK

A child whose parents were not married to each other at the time of the child's conception or at any time after the birth of the child.

CHILDREN’S COURT

A special court dealing with matters relating to children. Every Magistrate’s Court shall be a Children’s Court and the High Court is the upper guardian of all children.

CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE

A certificate from the municipality that confirms that all amounts in respect of the property have been paid in full for the last two years.

COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

A written agreement concerning the terms and conditions of employment or any other matter of mutual interest concluded between registered trade unions, employers and/or registered employer organisations.

COMMON LAW MARRIAGE

Many persons believe that by living together for a certain amount of time, they enter into a common law marriage. Such a marriage does not exist and the persons are only protected through entering into a cohabitation agreement.

COMPENSATION

Money in recognition of work, work-related injury or disease.

CONSULTING EMPLOYEES

The employees who are likely to be affected by the retrenchment, or their workplace forum, registered trade union or elected representatives, or any person elected in terms of a collective agreement.

CONTACT

To maintain a personal relationship with a child and allowing a person to see, spend time with or communicate with a child.

CONVICTION

The result of a criminal trial which was concluded and the accused was found guilty of the criminal offence charged.

COUPLE

Includes a man and a woman or same sex partners.

CRIMINAL OFFENCE

Act or omission (a failure to act when a person should have acted) punishable by law.

CURATOR

A person appointed by a High Court to administer a person’s estate as s/he cannot manage his/her own affairs.

CUSTODIAN PARENT

A parent who lives with the child and takes care of the child on a day to day basis.

D

DEED OF TRANSFER

A document that proves ownership and contains important information about the property, for example, it identifies the property, the reason for transfer of ownership and the details of the old owner and the existing owner.

DEEDS OFFICE

A government office that maintains a register of all property within its area.

DEPENDANT

A person who was reliant on the employee’s salary at the time of his/her death such as widower or child under the age of 18 years.

DISPUTES OF MUTUAL INTEREST

When a dispute is not regulated by any law, but it is relevant to the workplace and the employment relationship.

E

EMPLOYEE

A person who works for another person, receives compensation (pay) and who assists in the carrying on of the business of the employer.

ESSENTIAL SERVICE

A service where the interruption of it will endanger the life, personal safety or health of persons, for example, the police or fire fighting services.

EXECUTOR

A person appointed by a testator in the Will to see to the administration of his/her estate.

F

FAMILY ADVOCATE

An institution that assists with family matters, such as divorces, and makes recommendations in respect of children’s best interests.

G

GUARDIAN

Both husband and wife are guardians of a child born from the marriage; the mother of a child born out of wedlock is the guardian, unless the father acquires guardianship, for example, by living in a permanent life-partnership with the mother; or the court may appoint a guardian. Guardianship includes safeguarding the child’s property or property interests; representing the child in legal matters; and consenting to marriage, adoption, removal from South Africa, or an application for a passport.

GUARDIANSHIP

Includes safeguarding the child’s property or property interests; representing the child in legal matters; and consenting to marriage, adoption, removal from South Africa, or an application for a passport.

I

IMMOVABLE PROPERTY

Is property that cannot be moved, for example, a house, sectional title unit or farm.

INCESTUOUS RELATIONSHIP

A sexual relationship between persons who are closely related, for example, brothers and sisters or a father and his daughter.

INTESTATE

When a person dies without leaving a Will.

M

MAINTENANCE COURT

A special court dealing with matters relating to maintenance. Every Magistrate’s Court shall be a Maintenance Court.

MAINTENANCE OFFICER

A person appointed to assist with maintenance matters at court.

MALA FIDE

With or in bad faith by being intentionally dishonest, by not fulfilling legal or contractual obligations or by misleading another person.

MARRIAGE

A person can get married in terms of a civil marriage, customary marriage, religious marriage, or a civil union.  

MARRIAGE IN COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY

There is one estate between a husband and a wife. Property and debts acquired prior to or during the marriage are shared equally in undivided shares (50%). Both spouses are jointly liable to creditors. This marital regime automatically comes into existence unless another regime is selected.

MARRIAGE OFFICER

A person who is authorised to conclude a marriage between two persons, such as ministers of a religion or a person who is appointed as a marriage officer by the Minister of Home Affairs.

MARRIAGE OUT OF COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY WITH THE ACCRUAL SYSTEM

This is identical to a “marriage out of community of property” but the accrual system will be applicable. The accrual system is a formula that is used to calculate how much the larger estate must pay the smaller estate once the marriage comes to an end through death or divorce. Only property acquired during the marriage can be considered when calculating the accrual. The accrual system does not automatically apply and must be included in an ante nuptial contract. 

MARRIAGE OUT OF COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY WITHOUT THE ACCRUAL SYSTEM

The spouses have their own estates which contain property and debts acquired prior to and during the marriage (“what is mine is mine and what is yours is yours”). Each spouse is separately liable to his/her creditors. Prior to the marriage, an ante nuptial contract must be entered into to indicate that the marriage will be out of community of property.

MONOGAMOUS MARRIAGE

Refers to a marriage where a man has one wife at a time.

N

NEGLIGENT

The failure to take reasonable care, for example, recklessness.

O

OPERATIONAL REASONS

A no-fault dismissal (retrenchment) based on economic, structural or similar needs (operational needs) of the employer.

P

PARENT

The biological father or mother of a child who has full or limited parental rights and responsibilities over his/her child.

PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

To care for a child, maintain contact with the child, act as guardian of the child and to contribute to the maintenance of the child.

POLYGAMOUS MARRIAGE

Refers to a marriage where a man has more than one wife at a time.

POWER OF ATTORNEY

A legal document that allows a person to perform a certain act on behalf of another person.

PRODIGAL

A person who wastes money in an irresponsible and extravagant manner.

PROPERTY

All assets owned by a person, such as a house, vehicle and money.

PROTECTION ORDER

It is an order made by a court that prevents the respondent from causing domestic violence to the complainant and can be interim or final. The protection order may contain certain terms and conditions that a respondent must comply with, for example, the protection order can state that the respondent is not allowed to make any contact with the complainant or to go near the complainant.

R

REINSTATEMENT

The employee will get his/her job back, as if s/he was never retrenched.

REPRESENTATIONS

Suggestions that the consulting employees may come up with in response to certain matters relating to the proposed retrenchment.

S

SHERIFF

A person who is authorised to deliver court documents, such as summonses and notices.

SPOUSES

Persons married in terms of a civil marriage, customary marriage, religious marriage or civil union, which includes same-sex marriages.

T

TESTATOR

A person who has made a Will.

V

VOID

A term used to describe a contract as being invalid and unenforceable.

VOLUNTARY RETRENCHMENT

When the employee enters into an agreement with his/her employer to be retrenched, not to claim unfair dismissal and not to claim additional pay, in return for payment of a retrenchment package which includes his/her severance pay, leave, other pay s/he is legally entitled and additional benefits. An agreement will come into force on acceptance of the voluntary retrenchment offer.

W

WARRANT OF ARREST

A document issued by a magistrate or judge of the court, authorising the police to arrest a specific person for committing a specific act.

WITNESS

A person who sees or hears something relevant to the matter before court.

WRONGFUL

Includes the intention to cause damage or negligence that caused damage.