30 Aug 2013
by Elizabeth Thornberry
0 comments

Customary status of “ukuthwala” debated since 19th century

Current debates over ukuthwala invoke the idea of custom to both criticise and justify the practice. Participants on both sides of this debate use historical claims to justify their position. The legal status of custom is not determined by history, […]

05 Aug 2013
by Elizabeth Thornberry
0 comments

“Ukuthwala”: Even living custom must be developed to comply with Constitution

The cases of ukuthwala that have seized public attention over the last few years involve the violent abduction, and sometimes rape, of girls as young as 12 by older men. In addition to being illegal under criminal law, these abductions […]

15 Jul 2013
by Elizabeth Thornberry
0 comments

Validity of “ukuthwala” depends on definition of custom

Since 2008, a series of cases in which young girls have been abducted and forcibly married to much older men in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal has captured national attention. Journalists and community members have grouped these abductions together […]