Am I Being Harassed?

We have Some Simple Answers for You

What is harassment?

The Protection from Harassment Act of 2011 provides for the issuing of protection orders in cases of harassment.

When someone acts in a way that causes you harm or makes you believe that you may be harmed, that person is harassing you.

This includes if the person is

  • following you.
  • watching you.
  • pursuing you.
  • loitering around your home, work, school or other places you usually visit.
  • communicates with you either verbally, over the phone or through internet mediums such as Whatsapp, Facebook or Twitter or through other people.This is harassment whether or not you are replying the person.
  • sending packages or “gifts” to you or your friends and family or leaving the gifts where you or your family / friends can find them.

A person can harass you not only by causing physical harm but by causing you mental, psychological or economic harm too.

What should I do?

You can apply to a magistrate court for a protection order against the person who is harassing you. You may do this with or without a lawyer.

If you do not have a lawyer, the clerk at the court will explain to you how to make the application for a protection order and how to make other complaints against the person such as assault.

This application does not need to be made by you, your family or friend or anyone else who cares about your well-being can make the application for you.

You must remember to give your family member or friend a letter giving them your permission to apply on your behalf. This letter is required by the court, unless in the court’s opinion, you are unable to provide it.

If you are below the age of 18, you can freely go to the magistrate’s court and make this application , even without your parent or guardian’s assistance.

If you are facing great danger and you need a protection order immediately, you can even make the application after court hours or during the weekend when the court would otherwise be closed.

Your friends, colleagues, family or neighbours who have knowledge of the harassment or have witnessed it may also submit letters known as affidavits supporting your complaint.

The clerk of court is required by law to submit your application and the affidavits to the court immediately .

We hope this has been as useful as it is simple. 


The information contained on aims at providing you with guidance on the South African law. We have ensured that this information is accurate, however, the law is constantly being changed. Although we have tried to keep this information accurate, we cannot guarantee that there are no omissions  or errors. Therefore, will not , under any circumstance accept liability for or be held liable for  consequences resulting from the use or inability to use the information by the reader or negligence by us in relation to the information used. Every person has unique circumstances and this information has not been provided to meet individual requirements.

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