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Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005)

Chapter 3 : Parental Responsibilities and Rights

Part 1 : Acquisition and loss of parental responsibilities and rights

29. Court proceedings


(1) An application in terms of section 22(4)(b), 23, 24, 26(1)(b) or 28 may be brought before the High Court, a divorce court in a divorce matter or a children's court, as the case may be, within whose area of jurisdiction the child concerned is ordinarily resident.


(2) An application in terms of section 24 for guardianship of a child must contain the reasons why the applicant is not applying for the adoption of the child.


(3) The court hearing an application contemplated in subsection (1) may grant the application unconditionally or on such conditions as it may determine, or may refuse the application, but an application may be granted only if it is in the best interests of the child.


(4) When considering an application contemplated in subsection (1) the court must be guided by the principles set out in Chapter 2 to the extent that those principles are applicable to the matter before it.


(5) The court may for the purposes of the hearing order that—
(a) a report and recommendations of a family advocate, a social worker or other suitably qualified person must be submitted to the court;
(b) a matter specified by the court must be investigated by a person designated by the court;
(c) a person specified by the court must appear before it to give or produce evidence; or
(d) the applicant or any party opposing the application must pay the costs of any such investigation or appearance.


(6) The Court may, subject to section 55-
(a) appoint a legal practitioner to represent the child at the court proceedings; and
(b) order the parties to the proceedings, or any one of them, or the state if substantial injustice would otherwise result, to pay the costs of such representation.


(7) If it appears to a court in the course of any proceedings before it that a child involved in or affected by those proceedings is in need of care and protection, the court must order that the question whether the child is in need of care and protection be referred to a designated social worker for investigation in terms of section 155(2).