Minister of Justice, Jeff Radebe, on the Traditional Courts Bill at a news conference (12/03/2014).
“On the Traditional Courts bill, the bill as we all know it has lapsed but it it’s going to be revived. A strange thing happened at the NCOP. I don’t know how it arose where they debated a bill that was drafted in 2008, not the bill that was amended and put into the national assembly. The fact of the matter is contrary to popular perception again the Traditional Courts bill does not seek to establish traditional courts in the republic of South Africa. Those courts, traditional courts exist as we speak but they exist and operate under apartheid era legislation called the black administration act of 1927. What this Traditional Courts Bill seeks to achieve is to bring these traditional courts in line with our constitution and the law. Customary law is recognized in our constitution and the institution of traditional leadership is part of our constitution, part of our lives. We can never wish them away. So I do hope sooner rather than later that this traditional courts bill that is suited to our constitution will be passed by parliament because, how many years since 1927? It’s more than 80 years, that is the law that is applicable to traditional courts so we need to put them in line with our constitution, take into account all the issues that have been raised which I feel have been addressed by the amendments that were initiated during the public hearings, so on and so forth. So that’s all it’s about, the traditional courts, it’s not like creating a phenomenon that is inimical to our constitution.”