Muslim marriages not legally recognised by South African law

Over the years, the legal status of Muslim marriages in South Africa has been questioned, unlike marriages entered into under civil or African customary law.

As a result, many Muslim spouses and their children face stigma due to their traditional marriages and the view that their children are illegitimate. In addition, Muslim women are often left with no access to property, money, or resources in the event of divorce.

Talking about the legal status of Muslim marriages, CapeTalk/702’s Redi Tlhabi spoke to Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker, Attorney at Women’s Legal Centre.

We have the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 which governs marriages in South Africa and it specifies that there should be marriages between one man and one woman. And in terms of Islamic law a husband is allowed to take more than one wife. Historical, this was in contrary to public policy to recognise Muslim marriages. However, through our democracy and the recognition of customary marriages which allows for the legal recognition of a husband having more than one wife, there was an urgent need to address the recognition of having Muslim Marriages

Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker - Attorney, Women’s Legal Centre

Efforts to acknowledge Muslim marriages aren't moving fast enough

According to Abrahams-Fayker , the progression to get Muslim marriages recognised started at the hype of South Africa’s democracy in 1996 but the process is very slow. There were initially positive moves towards Muslim marriages but the Muslim Marriages Bill is still not been signed into law.

The Women’s Legal Centre Trust (WLCT) later took President Jacob Zuma, Parliament and two government departments to court to have the Muslim Marriages Bill made law within a year.

When asked about the current outcomes of the latter, Abrahams-Fayker says that the matter was initially taken to the Constitutional Court, were they were redirected to the High Court. Even through litigation from the Justice Department, Abrahams-Fayker says there were no further steps taken by government to make Muslim marriages legal. This, in turn, delayed the referral of the matter to the High Court, she says.

The grievances of Muslim women about the legality of their marriages pushed the Women’s Legal Centre to launch an application to have Muslim marriages legally recognised in December 2014, and the matter will be heard in the Western Cape High Court in December 2015.

Here are some of the comments on Twitter:

Listen to the full conversation on The Redi Tlhabi Show:

Read More
Naked Scientist: Your skin has a memory

Naked Scientist: Your skin has a memory

A new study has shown skin cells can remember previous injuries and respond faster if the same patch of tissue is injured again.

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Low sex drive is common and non-sexual relationships can also be fulfilling, explains clinical sexologist Dr Eve.

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Geoffrey Matovu filed for divorce in the Family Division of the High Court accusing Ms Tryphena Nakiyingi of being disrespectful.

Why 'I believe you' are important words for sexual assault survivors

Why 'I believe you' are important words for sexual assault survivors

Not In My Name's Siyabulela Jentile says supporting sexual assault survivors could potentially help prevent any further abuse.

Blessee's taste of the 'champagne lifestyle' told in new book

Blessee's taste of the 'champagne lifestyle' told in new book

This is the story of Bontle Tau, a woman who exploits her looks to access material success and juggles her three main 'blessers'.

Former Eldos drug user opens up about losing her kids and getting clean

Former Eldos drug user opens up about losing her kids and getting clean

Gugs Mhlungu spoke to a former drug addict and the department of social development about the scourge of drugs in communities.

Popular articles
Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa says text messages making the rounds asking beneficiaries to come and renew their Sassa cards is a hoax.

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

Bylaws, times you may use fireworks

City of Johannesburg has urged residents to respect by-laws and the times set for fireworks to be used.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?