Contravention Of A Protection Order

Abrie van der Merwe – Associate

In the event that a respondent commits an act prohibited by a protection order, whether interim or final, it will amount to contravention of the protection order.

This will allow the complainant to go to the Court that granted the order and request that a warrant of arrest be issued.  This requires the complainant to submit proof under oath, in the form of an affidavit, that the order has been contravened by the respondent.

Upon receiving the warrant of arrest, the complainant will take the warrant of arrest to the relevant police station, whereafter a member of the South African Police Service will proceed to execute the warrant, meaning to arrest the respondent.

Once the respondent has been arrested, he/she will have to apply for their release on bail at the Magistrate’s Court.

One cannot obtain bail from the police station as the warrant was issued by a Magistrate, typically referred to as a bench warrant, and only another Magistrate can authorise the release of the respondent on bail.

This is a very serious charge and it is important that you take any protection order granted against you, whether final or otherwise, serious and refrain from committing any act prohibited by the protection order.

It is also important that you refrain from any further act of domestic violence or harassment (not specifically covered by the protection order) as the complainant can return to Court to vary the terms of the protection order and bring to the attention of the Magistrate the further acts of domestic violence or harassment.

Should you be convicted of this offence, not only will you receive a criminal record, but you can be fined or receive direct imprisonment not exceeding five years, making the consequences of receiving and contravening a protection order, life-altering.

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