My mother verbally abuses her domestic h...

Asked by Tumons on 23-12-2020 11:44:18
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng

My mother verbally abuses her domestic helper every time the domestic helper comes to work. My mother insults her constantly. In the last 5 years she has had 5 domestic helpers and they have all left.My mother is 83, is a control freak and micro-manages every situation.

I am ashamed of her behaviour, and when I try to intervene, she commands me not to interfere.

Without her knowledge, I have recorded some of my mother's tirades.

I feel that her unacceptable behaviour should not be allowed to continue, and that she needs a stern talking to about her malicious attitude from someone in authority and given a formal warning that this behaviour will not be tolerated, and that if she continues to behave in this disgusting manner she could face a fine and/or worse.

She would refuse to attend anger management classes - as according to her everyone is mad except her!

What can be done, without disclosing my identity?

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 23-12-2020 13:08:07

Hi there and thank you for your question, 

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread. 

Somebody in authority is the South African Police Services if your mother's domestic worker feels that your mother is verbally abusing her. However, you should be aware, that you would then be "opening the can of worms" and the SAPS would then get involved and to a large degree, you wouldn't be able to control the situation anymore.

What if your mom was arrested, and charged with a crime of assault, and then had to go through a bail application, jail, and a criminal trial where she needed a lawyer?

You wouldn't be able to hide your identity, because you would be called as a witness to testify as to the accuracy of the recording. 

If you went the SAPS route, she could be found guilty and could receive a fine, a criminal record, or jail time. Not really ideal.

I think that you need a heart-to-heart discussion with her in order to encourage her to seek professional assistance from an anger management person, or a psychiatrist. Perhaps there is an underlying reason why she is angry, and why she feels that she "needs" to get her anger out at the domestic.

But I think that you are doing the right thing trying to get involved. Nobody should be subject to verbal abuse, or other abuse.

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question. 

Att. Patrick 

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