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:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Breast cancer and its effect on sexuality

Breast cancer and its effect on sexuality

Dr Eve explores the subject with 702 callers and talks frankly about the effects of cancer on patients sexuality.

Whoever takes over from James Selfe is a poor choice, says Eusebius

Whoever takes over from James Selfe is a poor choice, says Eusebius

The Democratic Alliance will be electing its new federal council chairperson over the weekend.

'Had abuser been a male teacher, we would have had a crazy outcry from society'

'Had abuser been a male teacher, we would have had a crazy outcry from society'

Pundits discuss the sexual misconduct allegations at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town.

[LISTEN] Black Tax: Burden or Ubuntu?

[LISTEN] Black Tax: Burden or Ubuntu?

Eusebius speaks to writers Niq Mhlongo, Thanduxolo Jika and Lorraine Sithole about black tax in black communities.

Be familiar with the rules before approaching CCMA, says lawyer

Be familiar with the rules before approaching CCMA, says lawyer

LDA Incorporated Attorneys director Larry Dave says the commission is a functional body and it has improved over the years.

'Realistically, load shedding may continue for whole week,' says Eskom COO

'Realistically, load shedding may continue for whole week,' says Eskom COO

The power utility's Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer, explains why the power utility is implementing a power outage.

Popular articles
'It turns out DA MP Natasha Mazzone was right about load shedding'

'It turns out DA MP Natasha Mazzone was right about load shedding'

Last month, Eskom shut down claims by the Democratic Alliance that load shedding was on the cards.

[WATCH] Commuters on station stop train from hitting passenger

[WATCH] Commuters on station stop train from hitting passenger

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] How many people does it take to park a car?

[WATCH] How many people does it take to park a car?

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

'We discuss stocks and options with our children at the dinner table'

'We discuss stocks and options with our children at the dinner table'

Bruce Whitfield interviews Basetsana Kumalo about her attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

'Had abuser been a male teacher, we would have had a crazy outcry from society'

'Had abuser been a male teacher, we would have had a crazy outcry from society'

Pundits discuss the sexual misconduct allegations at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town.

[WATCH] Boy explaining what he heard when parents had sex goes viral

[WATCH] Boy explaining what he heard when parents had sex goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

It's VW, but not as you know it - Why did Volkswagen change its logo?

It's VW, but not as you know it - Why did Volkswagen change its logo?

John Maytham asks what's behind Volkswagen's new-look logo...

5 retirement saving tips for those who left it late

5 retirement saving tips for those who left it late

It’s better to start late than never! The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Jeanette Marais.

[WATCH] Woman faints after hairdresser cuts 12-inch hair without telling her

[WATCH] Woman faints after hairdresser cuts 12-inch hair without telling her

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.