Women’s Day Focus event

October 1st, 2013

By Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele

ProBono.Org recently held its fifth annual Women’s Day Focus event at the Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill where attorneys, advocates and mediators assisted women with their legal problems by offering free legal services.

The head: staff attorney at ProBono.Org, Sharon Pillay, told De Rebus that this year has been its best year yet. She said that a total of 24 volunteers had offered their services for the day, adding that it was the biggest number of volunteers they had seen. At this year’s event a total of 91 women were assisted.

Ms Pillay said that the matters are taken on by the attorneys if further representation is required and this year 15 matters were taken back to firms by attorneys.

‘We have seen cases that range from deceased estates to housing matters. With the housing matters it is particularly people that have been on the waiting list for reconstruction and development programme (RDP) houses from as far back as 1996 and who have not yet heard anything from government regarding the allocation of a house’, she told De Rebus.

Ms Pillay noted that this year they also saw a lot of cases of fraudulent transfer of properties, where the owners were told that they no longer owned the house and were being evicted from the property.

This year’s address was by Johannesburg attorney, Sherie Grayman, who spoke on the rights of unmarried fathers. Ms Grayman gave an overview of the rights of unmarried fathers. She said that, previously, unmarried fathers had no rights but that the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 had changed that.

Nomfundo Manyathi-Jele, nomfundo@derebus.org.za

This article was first published in De Rebus in 2013 (Oct) DR 17.