Custom Contested

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“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 have been criticised by some scholars and traditional leaders for distorting the “real custom” of …

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Mayelane v Ngwenyama and Minister for Home Affairs: A reflection on wider implications

On 30 May 2013 the Constitutional Court decided in Mayelane v Ngwenyama and Minister for Home Affairs[acp footnote]CCT 57/12 [2013] ZACC 14 (30 May 2013).[/acp] that under Tsonga customary law, the first wife must consent to her husband taking an additional wife in order for the second marriage to be valid. The Court invalidated the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/mayelane-v-ngwenyama-and-minister-for-home-affairs-a-reflection-on-wider-implications/

“Here I stand; I am my own chief”

Delegates at the Land Divided conference heard powerful pleas – and indictments – from rural representatives, which illuminated the implications of the re-entrenchment of apartheid-era traditional leadership arrangements. The delegates heard about two communities that successfully resisted the apartheid authorities’ attempts to declare them “black spots” subject to forcible removal, just to be confronted with …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/here-i-stand-i-am-my-own-chief/

Chiefs’ “timeless custom” standing in way of land reform

The history of forced removals and Bantustan consolidation lays bare a trajectory of both dispossession and disenfranchisement, starting with the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936 and, ironically, elaborated in a set of post-apartheid laws.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/chiefs-timeless-custom-standing-in-way-of-land-reform/