Justice Home The Constitution Flag

Family Law

Home> Family Law> Older Persons Act, 2006

The Older Persons Act, 2006 (Act 13 of 2006)

bannerThe Older Persons Act, 2006 is intended to protect, promote and maintain the status, rights, well-being and security of older persons. It is an Act that aims at combating the abuse of older persons.

WHO QUALIFIES TO BE AN OLDER PERSON IN TERMS OF THE ACT?

An older person is the person who, in the case of a male, is 65 years of age or older and, in the case of a female, is 60 years of age or older.

WHAT IS AN ABUSE OF AN OLDER PERSON?

An abuse of an older person occurs where any person, in a relationship where there is an expectation of trust, does something or fails to do something that causes harm or distress or is likely to cause harm or distress to an older person.

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF ABUSE THAT AMOUNT TO ‘ABUSE OF OLDER PERSONS’ IN TERMS OF THE ACT ?

WHAT ARE THE RIGHTS OF OLDER PERSONS IN TERMS OF THE OLDER PERSONS ACT? THE ACT GIVES THE OLDER PERSONS THE RIGHT TO:

WHO MUST REPORT THE ABUSE OF OLDER PERSON?

Any person who suspects that an older person has been abused or suffers from an abuse - related injury.

WHERE THE REPORT MUST BE MADE?

The report must be immediately made to the police or the Director-General: Department of Social Development. The report may also be made to the social worker who will then assist in taking action against the abuser. Failure to report an abuse of an older person amounts to a crime punishable by the law.

WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE RELIEF AVAILABLE TO THE OLDER PERSON AFTER THE MATTER HAS BEEN REPORTED TO THE POLICE?

Upon receipt of report from the social worker, the police official may issue the alleged abuser with a written notice calling upon him/ her to leave the home or place of residence of the older person or stop entering such place or having contact with the older person until the matter is dealt with by the court.

On the court date, the magistrate will consider all issues raised in the written notice, and may thereafter make the police eviction a court order. The magistrate may also grant a maintenance order against the abuser, where necessary.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ABUSER FAILS TO OBEY THE COURT ORDER ISSUED IN TERMS OF THE WRITTEN NOTICE?

Failure to obey the court order is an offence. When found guilty, the abuser may be required to pay a fine or be sent to jail for a period of not more than 5 years.

WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE OF BRINGING THE ALLEGED ABUSER OF OLDER PERSON BEFORE MAGISTRATE?

WHAT HAPPENS TO A PERSON WHO DELIBERATELY PREVENTS THE CASE FROM BEING TAKEN TO COURT?

It is an offence to prevent a social worker or health care giver from performing his/ her duties.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE ENQUIRY IN COURT?

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE ALLEGED ABUSER IS FOUND GUILTY OF ABUSE OF OLDER PERSONS?

CONTACT DIRECTORY

Follow this link to view contact details for community based centres and residential facilities for older persons.