Customary Law

Consent as a requirement in customary marriages

Mashisane v Mhlauli (SCA) (unreported case no 903/2022, 14-12-2023) (Weiner JA (Mbatha, Mothle, Hughes JJA and Keightley AJA concurring)) ‘Culture is not just a set of customs; it’s a vital […]

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Rule 43 and Muslim divorces: Can relief be granted if the marriage was dissolved by Sharia law?

By Prof Fareed Moosa Rule 43 of the Uniform Rules of Court was promulgated in GN R48 GG999/12-1-1965 and has largely remained untouched. In S v S and Another 2019 […]

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Section 3(1)(b) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act too open for interpretation to be a requirement

Lijane v Kekana and Others (GJ) (unreported case no 21/43942, 3-1-2023) (Wilson J) The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (the RCMA) provides for the requirements of valid […]

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Does the Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Act discriminate against women’s marital property rights?

The Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Act 1 of 2021 (the RCMAA) came into operation on the 1 June 2021. It amends s 7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages […]

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Dissolving an unregistered Customary Marriage

After the conclusion of the customary marriage, it is likely that the parties in a customary marriage do not register their marriage as it could take weeks, months, or years, […]

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The modern customary  marriage – can the  handing over of a  bride be waived?

Customary law has – for decades – dealt with the standards in communities and each community has practiced these long established customs in each area. With the dawn of the […]

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Understanding customary marriages – it is not as straight forward as it seems

The topic of customary marriage under South African law has been debated and considered extensively through different media and lately it has been the subject of debate on television and […]

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Do traditional leaders enjoy judicial immunity?

Judicial immunity is a common-law concept, derived from judicial decisions. It is a form of protection afforded to judicial officers by public policy in the performance of their duties. One […]

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Does a customary law marriage nullify further marriages entered into with a different spouse?

The dissolution of customary marriages has been a hot topic of debate in South African law. What was once a mere separation and desertion to symbolise an irretrievable breakdown and […]

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Introducing the bride – when is a customary marriage deemed to have been condoned by the families?

One of the main aims of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (the RCMA), is to specify the requirements of a valid customary marriage. Section 1 of […]

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