750 000+ helped by Legal Aid SA

2014-10-16 14:35

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Cape Town - Legal Aid SA helped more than three-quarters of a million people in the past year, the organisation said on Thursday.

"With 776 301 persons served in the 2013/14 financial year, the organisation remains on track to realise its vision of ensuring equality, justice and quality of life for all," it said in a statement.

An independent statutory body, established in terms of the 1969 Legal Aid Act, the role of Legal Aid South Africa is to provide help and advice to those who cannot afford their own legal representation.

According to the statement, it has represented 390,118 people in criminal matters, 57 183 in civil matters, 21 in "impact litigation" matters, and provided legal advice to a further 328 979.

"We were pleased that this was done within our budget and with a strong governance milieu that resulted in Legal Aid SA achieving its 13th consecutive unqualified audit, which was also achieved with no matters of emphasis from the auditor general, making it a clean audit," CEO Vidhu Vedalankar said.

Legal Aid SA was allocated a R1.5bn budget for the 2013/14 financial year.

Vedalankar said the organisation's legal aid system was effective, and had become a model for other countries.

The statement was issued a day ahead of Legal Aid SA's appearance before Parliament's justice and correctional services portfolio committee.

The Legal Aid Advice Line (0800-110-110) offers free telephone legal advice in five official languages.

Read more on:    legal aid sa  |  judiciary

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