Pretoria: As part of Women’s Month, the South African Women’s Lawyers Association (SAWLA) in partnership with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development in the North West – is to host the Access to Justice Week, targeting women in rural and urban areas.
The department’s regional head in the North West, TsietsiMalema, said that Access to Justice Week, which starts from 27 – 31 August 2012, was not just about access to a court or a lawyer, but it was about providing practical, affordable and easily understood information and options to help people prevent or resolve their disputes.
Malema said that during this week, women lawyers would be stationed in public areas across the province giving free legal advice to the public on maintenance; wills; extension of civil jurisdiction; domestic violence; divorce; sexual offences rights in marriage; custody; the Small Claims Courts; guardianship and fostering.
The week also seeks to enhance the lives of the poor, previously marginalised and rural women. The Legal Aid Board will also be on hand to offer its services.
“The department’s cooperation with the legal profession is in line with its aim to provide Access to Justice for all, through decreasing the challenges brought by the cost of litigation, undue delays and excessive formalities within the legal process.
“SAWLA is committed to eradicating gender discrimination and other forms of inequality or abuse in the legal sector and other areas of life, and to play an effective role in the transformation of the legal profession, judiciary and the justice system to promote the legitimacy of the justice system,” Malema explained.
Director of Court Operations, GleniceNkotsoe, said she was pleased to see SAWLA members who were committed to going beyond the call of duty without any reimbursement to assist the community, particularly in rural areas.
Information desks will be set up at the following courts to enable community members to receive legal assistance:
* Taung Magistrate Court – 22 August 2012
* Klerksdorp Magistrate Court – 23 August 2012
* Odi Magistrate Court – 24 August 2012
* Bafokeng Magistrate Court – 27 August 2012
* Lichtenburg Magistrate Court – 28 August 2012