Litigation: SMSs from ex-wife not 'domestic violence' – ruling

A husband has failed to persuade the SCA that his former wife's strongly worded SMSs amount to harassment, notes Legalbrief. He lost his case and was slapped with the legal bill. The Star reports the husband argued the SMSs constituted harassment, and he applied for a protection order against her in the lower court under the Domestic Violence Act. When he lost his legal bid, he appealed the ruling against him and lost. He then turned to the SCA, where his appeal was once again turned down. The court found that while some SMSs contained insults, there was not a pattern of repeated conduct, and it was thus not domestic violence.

Acting Judge JE Smith explained that the primary objective of the Domestic Violence Act was to provide victims of domestic violence with an effective, uncomplicated, and swift legal remedy. 'However, there is nothing in those SMSs that could, by any stretch of the imagination, be construed as insulting the appellant to the extent that it amounted to emotional, verbal or psychological abuse,’ Smith said. ‘Although the language used in the SMSs might have been hostile, antagonistic or rancorous, it can by no stretch of the imagination amount to emotional, verbal or psychological abuse,’ Smith added.

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