‘I need legal help but I can’t afford a lawyer’ – Nthabi answers your legal questions

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Every person has a right to have a legal practitioner.
Every person has a right to have a legal practitioner.
Audtakorn Sutarmjam /EyeEm/Getty Images

Dear Nthabi

I have a problem that I can’t solve on my own so I think I need a lawyer. I know they are very expensive and I can’t afford one.

I’ve heard people talk about Legal Aid. What is this and how do I get it?

And is it true it’s free?

Read more |‘My brother-in-law sold my car’ – Nthabi answers your legal questions

Nthabi says

Legal Aid is a statutory body that was established to provide free legal assistance and representation to people who can’t afford an attorney but need one.

According to South Africa’s constitution. every person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right to have a legal practitioner assigned by the state and at the state’s expense. 

To qualify for assistance, Legal Aid conducts a means test. For individuals who are employed, you must earn a take-home (after tax) salary of R7 400 per month or less.

Legal Aid offices are found in almost all cities, so you should find one near you.

Nthabiseng Monareng

Nthabiseng Monareng holds LLB and LLM degrees from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Nthabi has more than 10 years’ experience in the legal field, specialising in family law. She’s written books on family law and is a family mediator.

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