A call for Customary Marriages to be recognised

There is a need for Customary Marriages to be recognised, especially  in order to protect the parties involved. Click on the link to learn about a woman who came out of an abusive relationship and her case regarding this matter.  African Marriage Law needs a shake up!



'The SA Jewish board of Deputies' welcomes the apology over the antisemitic comments

Interested in the outcome of the charges that were laid against Hattia and Seedat over their anti-Semitic comments? Read below how their SAJBD accepted the apology.


Ian Levitt stands up against hate speech.

Click on the link to read more on how Ian Leviit apposed and stood up against hate speech towards the Jewish community.

See full article here:



Abuse support: Protecting the unprotected

Writing this article, the level of contemplation around the sensitivity of this topic held as much weight as the significance of the content, compassion and information that needed expression. I have read hundreds and hundreds of articles, research papers, psycho-analytical data and laws pertaining to the subject of abuse and the definition thereof and yet, the emotional pain of a person expressing the word ‘abuse’ is a palpable experience for all of us at Ian Levitt Attorneys.
A person who has been on the receiving end of denigration and has systemically been destroyed as a human being, will whisper the word as if it is contagious – the secret of discovery steeped in shame. The whisperer says ‘abuse’ often without conviction or clarity that this is what has happened to them, the insecurity and fear are not describable in words but rather felt in the consultation like a knife’s edge hanging in the air.
This article is not about the symptoms, beliefs, behaviours or the identifying characteristics but rather a reminder that you have support. In the depths of your darkness and despair, confusion and pain the one thing that can cause instant change and transformation, is knowledge. Reaching out and getting informed from the right people and source can give you the starting point, plan and relief that you seek.
In any abusive situation, often the symptomatic anxiety and depression inhibits taking action, couple that with fear and despair, finding a solution is not only overwhelming and immobilising it is virtually impossible.
If any of these feelings resonate with you, or you know someone who you think needs not only legal information but requires a strong environment of containment and strategy, the best step forward is to take control and book a consultation for yourself or those you stand for.
Knowledge does equal power, but what transforms knowledge into true actionable change is a team of lawyers who are fighting for your rights as a human being.
Ian Levitt Attorneys is a firm committed to ensuring you are armed with the appropriate knowledge of your legal rights and the ability to exercise them. Our passionate team of lawyers guide and assist you with their in-depth knowledge and understanding that it is not just a legal process but an emotional journey that requires you to strategize and create a future of safety and peace using the law as your springboard.
Taking control is the first step to reclaiming what is yours. Peace of mind and self-value. Each case can present complexities that can include child care, property, asset ownership, trusts, maintenance and more but with your legal rights and safety top of mind, Ian Levitt Attorneys will take your hand and stand with you as you step into courage and bravery.

Cohabitation And The Law – Do You Know What Your Rights Are If The Relationship Ends?

In South Africa, many people think that by simply living with their partners for a given amount of time (also called cohabitation), without entering into marriage, they are afforded the same rights as their married counterparts.


This is not the case, as SA Law makes no place for cohabitation, which often leaves people coming out of a long-term relationship stumped when their partner tries to claim ownership of their goods. If this sounds like something you are facing now, this is what you can do about it.


Prove the existence of a universal partnership


While South African law still does not provide adequate protection for those in long-term relationships, there is legal precedent that can be called on when the relationship ends. To do so, a universal partnership has to be proven to the court – and to prove that one exists, the court must be shown that both parties acted like partners in the material aspects of their relationship, without having entered into a partnership agreement.


This is difficult to prove to the court and can only be established if the following criteria have been met:


  • The partnership’s aim was to make a profit
  • Both parties contributed to the enterprise (relationship)
  • The partnership operated or operates to the benefit of both parties involved
  • There is a legitimate contract between the parties


To prove the above, the court will look at whether both partners contributed to the venture with their skills, labour and/or capital, and that it was conducted in such a way that both parties benefited, and made a profit.


Your rights as cohabitants


Unfortunately, no rights exist to claim maintenance or assets from another party in a long-term relationship under South African law. However, if you and your partner had entered into a cohabitation agreement, it will be recognized by the court, and its stipulations have to be followed.


In most other cases, such as property being shared, as long as you can prove that you have contributed to the property either directly or indirectly to its maintenance, the courts can divide the property in a fair manner.


If you are still uncertain as to your rights as cohabitants, or want to find out how to enter into a cohabitation agreement, contact us at your earliest opportunity!

Have You Been Abused By Someone Close To You? Don’t Hide It – Fight It With The Law!

Are you stuck in an abusive relationship? If so, you are probably wondering how you got there – constantly walking on eggshells, doing everything you can not to provoke and developing unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the pain, all the while putting on a happy face to outsiders. The truth is that abusive relationships rarely develop overnight – which is what makes leaving and exposing the abuse so hard. If you are currently in this situation, there is no need to feel ashamed. By understanding the cycle, you can stop hiding it and start fighting it with the law.

The cycle of abuse

Abusive relationships usually involve a slowly escalating cycle. This allows the abuser and the abused to develop a bond and for the abused to see that the abuser does have good qualities, making blowing the whistle on the whole affair that much harder. Much like a frog in a slowly heating pot of water, you might make excuses for them and tell yourself that it ‘is not so bad’ until things feel like they are out of control. At this stage, you might feel too embarrassed to tell anyone about what is happening. After all, who would believe you and what would they say if they found out it has been going on for as long as it has? Abusers often sense when their victims are ready to leave, which is why it is often met with apologies, gifts and promises never to do it again.

Do not be fooled. It will happen again, and there is a good chance that it will be much worse.

Stop hiding and take action

As soon as you feel it is safe to do so, tell someone you trust about the abuse. You will find that they are less judgemental that you imagined and want to help you get out of the situation.

Never forget that you have legal rights and that the law is on your side.

At Ian Levitt Attorneys we understand that it is not always possible to ‘just leave’ someone and child custody as well as property or asset ownership can complicate things further. The most empowering thing you can do for yourself is to stop hiding the abuse and contact us today, so that we can help you plan your future in safety and fight for it with the law.


What you need to know about dealing with domestic abuse

According to Stats SA and the South African Medical Research Council, one in five South African women have experienced domestic abuse, making it the leading cause of death amongst women. If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, you have legal recourse. Here’s what you need to know.

The law protects everyone

If you’re in a relationship with someone and they abuse you, the law protects you. It doesn’t matter what your gender or sexuality is, if you aren’t married, if they’re related to you or if you’re raising a child together.

It doesn’t have to be physical to be abuse

If a partner harasses, stalks and intimidates you or harms your property, it’s abuse. If they coerce you sexually, it’s abuse. If they threaten you when you try leaving or insult and undermine you, it’s abuse. If they withhold money or keep you from financial independence, it’s abuse.

Steps to take when you’re experiencing abuse:

  1. Apply for a protection order: Anyone can apply for a protection order, and you can even apply on behalf of someone else (with their written permission). Visit your nearest magistrate’s court or police station and ask to complete the necessary form.
  2. Fill in the form in full: Bring any affidavits, photographs and doctor’s notes with you and ensure you have a current work or home address for the person you will be serving.
  3. You’ll be granted an interim protection order which becomes enforceable when the person is served. You’ll be given a court date which you must attend. Remember to make alternative living arrangements if necessary.
  4. Arrange legal representation – you can request to be present at your court date. They’re instrumental when negotiating the terms of your final protection order if there are children, firearms or financial responsibilities involved.
  5. If the order is violated, the person violating it can be arrested. This might require another court visit and warrant.

Looking for legal representation? Then contact the Divorce or Family Law division of Ian Levitt Attorneys today.

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Is Your Business Compliant With POPI?

The publication of the Protection of Personal Information (“POPI”) draft regulations means that we are closer to enforcement … read the draft regulations and ensure your business is compliant

The purpose of POPI is to ensure that South African institutions conduct themselves in a responsible manner when collecting, processing, storing and sharing personal information.

The POPI Bill was approved by the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on 5 September 2012, and the Information Regulator published draft regulations under the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 for public comment by 7 November 2017. The publication of these regulations means that enforcement is imminent.

POPI regulates all aspects of collecting and processing and using personal information, and every business in South Africa will be affected. At this stage, businesses need to consider POPI implementation projects and how compliance can be achieved.

The Act will establish minimum thresholds for the processing of personal information and will provide individuals with rights and remedies to protect their information. Non-compliant processing of personal information will be considered unlawful and could be subject to a fine, prosecution and/or imprisonment.

The regulations stipulate obligations for information officers in entities which process information and cover procedural aspects which includes:

  • The manner of objecting to the processing of personal information prescribed forms for objections to the processing of personal information, to destroy or correct personal information, and a form to submit a complaint or grievance to the regulator;
  • application form for industry codes of conduct;
  • data subjects consent to use personal information for direct marketing.

Click on this link to access the draft regulations: http://www.justice.gov.za/inforeg/docs/InfoRegSA-RegulationsDraft-Aug2017.pdf. As we previously highlighted, this will affect every entity which collects or uses personal information.

Ian Levitt Attorneys wins major awards at African Legal Awards 2017

We are very proud to announce that Ian Levitt Attorneys won the following categories at the African Legal Awards 2017:

1. Attorney of the Year (Partner)
2. Litigation and Dispute Team of the Year

And has received 2nd place in the category:
Specialist Law Firm of the Year

A great thank you to our clients and our staff that enabled us to win these awards. Although proud, it is also a humbling experience, and a challenge to us to continue providing an excellent service to our clients.