The Traditional Courts Bill (TCB) is back in parliament in February, 2014.
Some provinces are holding another round of hearings on the TCB to review their mandates, despite the majority of provinces saying ‘No’ to the Bill. The government’s decision to have yet another set of hearings seems to be a case of “we’ll consult until you change your minds”. A third round of hearings were held in the North West Province last year.
The next set of hearings will take place in the Free State on the following days:
4 February – 9am at Old Parliament Buildings in QwaQwa
6 February – 9am at the Barolong Hall in Thaba Nchu
We will be hold two workshops in the Free State in the first week of Feb (dates to be announced) to inform people about the TCB and help prepare them for what to expect in the hearings. Please contact us if you would like to participate in these hearings:
Phone: 021 650 5104
Fax: 021 650 3095
Why does the TCB matter?
It creates a separate and second class justice system for black people living in the former Bantustans – it turns them into ‘tribal’ subjects who are denied the full rights of equal citizenship.
What does it do?
It resuscitates the controversial tribal boundaries created by the Bantu Authorities Act of 1951 and gives traditional leaders wide powers over people in these boundaries accused of a crime or a civil wrong.
What’s the problem?
The TCB violates the rights of women; allows traditional leaders to sentence people to punishments like forced labour; it applies to everyone – you cannot opt out even if you have a valid reason; it removes checks and balances on traditional leaders’ power.
For more on the TCB, see our information page on the Bill.
Download the Traditional Courts Bill in PDF.