African marriages and antenuptial contracts

Customary law marriages are governed by customary law, the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act and the Matrimonial Property Act. In terms of these acts, marriages are automatically in community of property unless the parties enter into an antenuptial contract (ANC) before their marriage. If parties to a customary marriage wish to get married out of community… Continue Reading

Civil and Customary Marriages

Is a civil marriage concluded subsequent to a customary marriage valid or not? Source: DAVE WILLIAMS, COUNCILLOR: LIMPOPO LAW COUNCIL (with full credit to Mr Allen West) Is a civil marriage concluded subsequent to a customary marriage valid or not? CIVIL MARRIAGES 1.            Marriages in terms of the Black Administration Act No. 38 of 1927 – Period 1929 to… Continue Reading

Victory for equality in customary marriage judgment

The Durban High Court declared section 7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act inconsistent with the Constitution Victory for equality in customary marriage judgment Section 7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998 provides that the proprietary consequences of a customary marriage entered into before the commencement of this Act (15 November 2000) continue to… Continue Reading

Wives win right to property in customary marriages

The Constitutional Court declared on 8 December 2008 that a KwaZulu-Natal woman married in customary law was entitled to property accumulated before she and her husband began divorce proceedings. In the case of Gumede (born Shange) v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others (CCT 50/08) [2008] ZACC 23 (8 December 2008) the Constitutional Court… Continue Reading

Judge rules for customary wife

As the deceased had maintained contact with his customary wife, he had never intended to desert her or terminate their customary union, which rendered his civil marriage invalid. A Pretoria judge yesterday put an end to acrimonious litigation between a customary wife and the woman her late husband married in a civil ceremony when he… Continue Reading

Customary law adoptive parents liable for child maintenance

In the case of Maneli v Maneli handed down on 19 April 2010 the South Gauteng High Court ruled that children adopted through Xhosa customary law are entitled to maintenance from their adoptive parents after a divorce. Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng made the order after a woman approached the court to force her former husband to… Continue Reading

Maintenance In Terms Of Customary Law Adoption – Maneli V Maneli

An adoptive father has a legal duty to maintain the minor child he and the applicant adopted in terms of Xhosa customary law Source: Marissa Beyers, LSNP Pro Bono Coordinator This matter was referred to the South Gauteng High Court by the Westonaria Maintenance Court to determine; 1.    Whether the Magistrate’s conclusion that the respondent had… Continue Reading

ConCourt rules customary inheritance laws unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court has declared laws governing primogeniture – which allows complete inheritance by the eldest male descendant –to be unconstitutional and invalid. In a landmark ruling the Constitutional Court has confirmed that the SA customary law rules relating to intestate succession are unconstitutional and discriminatory. The court also confirmed that the entire statutory scheme governing deceased estates of… Continue Reading

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