If a contract concluded on behalf of the minor is to the minor’s detriment, he may, within one year after reaching majority, apply to the High Court for the cancellation of the contract and restitution of everything that has been performed in terms thereof. The minor has to prove that the contract was to his detriment at the time of conclusion. A minor or child with limited capacity to act may however conclude contracts without assistance if they are exclusively to his benefit, namely, contracts in terms of which right but no duties are acquired. A minor may for example, accept a donation and may conclude an agreement which releases him from a debt but does not impose a duty on his to render counter-performance
P a g e | 20 There are several statutory exceptions to the general rule that a minor is contractually liable only if he concludes the contract with the required assistance: o A female minor, irrespective of age, may consent to the termination of pregnancy without consent of parents o 17 years old to obtain learners licence o 7 years old to withdraw money deposited into his account (Post Office Act) o 16 years old to make a valid will o 16 years old to deposit or withdraw from bank, or cede or burden the investment A child below the minimum age for a valid marriage namely 15 years for girls and 18 years for boys, may in terms of the Children’s Act not be given out to marriage or an engagement by their parents or guardians. A child above this minimum may not be given out to marriage or engagement without the child’s consent . Children under these minimum ages may, in exceptional circumstances, get married but only when the Minister of Home Affairs has given consent to such a marriage If a parent dies, the surviving parent will be the minor child’s guardian. If both parents die, the court will appoint another person with the capacity to act as guardian. If the child is born out of wedlock the mother will normally be the guardian If a minor wants to get married, or to apply for a passport if he is younger than 18 years, or if any immovable property or right to immovable property belonging to the minor needs to be sold or encumbered the consent of both parents must be obtained Court granting parents’ divorce will place child exclusively with one parent if in child’s best interest. Any person having an interest in the care of a child may apply to the High Court for guardianship of the child Child of 12 years old is able to consent to own medical treatment or operations on them if they have sufficient maturity and mental capacity to understand the benefits, risks, social and other implications Child can be tested for HIV if in best interest of child and consent is given. If the child is 12 years older with sufficient maturity to understand they can consent, if not then the parent to consent. A caregiver (parent/guardian/foster parent/head of youth care centre or shelter) can consent to the test. Child and
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