Mental Health Order, 1978
Act 20 of 1978
- Published in Swaziland Government Gazette 901 on 11 August 1978
- Assented to on 28 July 1978
- Commenced on 11 August 1978
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 1998.]
1. Short titleThis King’s Order-in-Council may be cited as the Mental Health Order, 1978.
2. InterpretationIn this Order, unless the context otherwise requires—“approved institution” means any private hospital, or nursing-home approved in writing by the Minister at which provision has been made for the detention and treatment of two or more persons who are mentally ill;“Board” means a Mental Hospital Board established under Part IV;“Court” in relation to a patient, means the High Court of Swaziland;“criminal mental institution” means a place of safe custody for the admission and treatment of patients pursuant to section 165 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, No. 67 of 1938;“Director” means the Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health;“duly registered medical practitioner” means a practitioner registered as such with the Swaziland Medical and Dental Council;“husband and wife” include persons married under the Marriage Act, No. 47 of 1964 or by Swazi Law and Custom or who live together as man and wife;“judge” means a judge of the High Court of Swaziland;“mental hospital” means a government hospital at which provision has been made for the detention and treatment of persons who are mentally ill;“mental illness” means any disorder or disability of the mind, and includes any mental disease, any arrested or incomplete development of the mind, and any psychopathic disorder; and “mentally ill” has a corresponding meaning;“mentally ill person” is a person who by reasons of some mental illness is incap-able of managing himself or his affairs, or who requires care, supervision and control for his own protection or for the protection of others;“Minister” means the Minister for Health;“near relative” in relation to a patient, means a descendant, ancestor, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, cousin or husband or wife of the patient;“parent” means the father of a minor, or failing him, the mother of the minor, or, failing them, the guardian of the minor, or failing him a person under whose care such minor is;“patient” means a person mentally ill to such a degree that it is necessary that he be detained, supervised, controlled or treated, and it includes a person who is suspected of being mentally ill to such a degree;“superintendent” means the medical practitioner in charge of a mental hospital or psychiatric ward, and includes any medical practitioner who has been appointed as deputy to the superintendent.
Part II – Reception and detention of patients
3. Classification of patients
4. Admission of voluntary patients
5. Discharge of voluntary patient
6. Temporary patients
7. Patients detained under a judge’s order
Part IV – The Mental Hospital Board and its functions
8. Establishment of Mental Hospital Board
9. Visits of the Board
10. Reports by the Board
11. Meetings of the Board
12. Procedure of the Board
13. Board to have no authority over officersThe Board shall have no authority over the superintendent or any other officer of any institutions or any other place of detention to which it is appointed.
Part V – Offences and penalties
14. Detaining patients except under provisions of OrderEvery person who, otherwise than in accordance with this Order, receives or detains a patient shall be guilty of an offence.
15. False statements, entries and wilful obstructionA person shall be guilty of an offence who—
16. Ill-treatment by nurses or other person in chargeAny officer, nurse, attendant, servant or other person having the care or charge of a patient, whether by reason of any contract or any tie or relationship or marriage or otherwise, who ill-treats or wilfully neglects any patient shall be guilty of an offence.
17. Conniving at escape of patientAny person who wilfully assists or permits or connives at the escape or attempted escape of any patient, or who secrets or harbours a patient who has escaped, shall be guilty of an offence.
18. Employment of male persons in personal custody of female patient
Part VI – General and supplementary
20. Order not to be taken to limit powers of CourtNothing in this Order shall be construed to affect, limit or abridge the power which the Court possesses by law in regard to inquiring into a person’s mental capacity, to declaring persons to be mentally disordered or defective or as to the appointment of curators to the person or property of any patient whether a reception order has been issued or not.
21. Limitation of actions by patients
22. RegulationsThe Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, make regulations for carrying into effect the purposes of this Order and in particular and without prejudice to the generality of a foregoing, such regulations may—
23. Repeal and SavingThe Mental Disorders Act No. 48 of 1963 is hereby repealed:Provided that any warrant or order for the detention of any patient, lawfully in force at the date of the commencement of this Order, shall continue to be lawfully in force and shall be subject to the provisions of this Order.
History of this document
01 December 1998 this version
11 August 1978
28 July 1978