In South African law, a breach of promise to marry can lead to two types of legal claims: contractual and delictual. It’s crucial for the aggrieved party to understand the difference to seek appropriate legal recourse.
Delictual claims focus on the wrongful and injurious conduct of the defendant. To succeed, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions were harmful and intentional. The damages awarded in these cases are based on the severity of the defendant’s conduct.
On the other hand, contractual claims revolve around the direct losses resulting from the breach. These could include financial expenses incurred in preparation for the marriage, like wedding costs and engagement rings. The plaintiff must demonstrate that these losses are a direct consequence of the breach of the marriage contract.
It’s important to note that while the court cannot force someone to fulfill a promise to marry, it can recognise the financial and emotional damages caused by the breach. Understanding these legal distinctions can guide individuals in seeking justice and compensation in breach of promise cases.
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