Category: Opinion

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 under the heading of ukuthwala cases. Men who have committed these abductions defend them as customary, and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/ukuthwala/

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/

Sigcau case: Custom is found in practice, not in law or books

The Constitution, in Chapter 12, recognises ‘the institution, status and role of traditional leadership, in terms of customary law’. On the face of it, this provision was simply designed to bring traditional leaders into the constitutional framework. However, legislation dealing with traditional leadership was subsequently enacted and the question then becomes whether this legislation is consistent with …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/custom-is-found-in-practice-not-in-law-or-books/

New Restitution Bill could open floodgates for chiefs’ land claims

The Western Cape leg of the public consultation about the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill started in Cape Town on June 4th. This is only 10 days after the bill was introduced. People are scrambling to make sense of the implications of the bill, and the reasons for its sudden introduction. At face value, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/new-restitution-bill-could-open-floodgates-for-chiefs-land-claims/

Apartheid distortions of customary law rob women of land rights – and livelihoods

Mobilisation against the Traditional Courts Bill brought together women living in often remote rural areas around the country. In sharing their experiences with one another in meetings and workshops, what repeatedly emerged was how precarious their rights to land are. Here we tell the stories of Dudu Xaba and Cazile Hadebe, two women whose land …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.customcontested.co.za/apartheid-distortions-of-customary-law-rob-women-of-land-rights-and-livelihoods/