Case study – Married without her knowledge

Our client AM required assistance to have her marriage declared null and void and the registry rectified by the Department of Home Affairs after she found out that she was married to someone she had never met. AM had thought that she was applying for a job shortly after finishing school, when in reality she was being scammed to obtain her fingerprints, her identity document details and her signature. When she wanted to study some years later, the study institution told her that she was married in community of property. She was shocked. After initially attempting to deal with the matter herself, she turned to ProBono.Org, who referred the matter to Clarks Attorneys.

The Department of Home Affairs was unhelpful in resolving the matter on an amicable basis, telling the attorneys to proceed to court. Therefore, they approached the High Court for a declaratory order that AM’s marriage be declared void ab initio, and that the Department of Home Affairs be directed to vary their records to indicate that AM had never been married. Marriage, and particularly one in community of property, has a substantial impact on a person’s status and financial future, and if AM did not have the assistance of ProBono.Org, and in due course that of Clarks and advocate van der Berg, there is no telling what prejudice she may have suffered in future. We are pleased to be able to record a successful outcome.