Divorce & Family Law
In a recent ruling, the Constitutional Court decided that section 1(1) of the Intestate Succession Act is unconstitutional in that it does not include life partners in relationships intended to be permanent in the definition of “spouse”.
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This article is part 2 of a series where our attorneys debunk some myths on customary marriages. There are many myths and opinions in public discourse with regards to the principles surrounding customary marriages.
The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 sought to formalize and attach legal effect to customary marriages in South Africa, as well as to bring certainty on how such marriages can achieve formal status. Indigenous customs in South Africa are so vast that it would have been difficult to harmonize all of them into one single accepted code. This is evident from the wording of section 3(1)(b) of the Act. The question then becomes, does this pull against legal certainty?
The regulation of customary marriages in South Africa has come a long way, and continues to be on a path of continuous development. Indeed, societal norms and aspirations evolve with time, rendering the necessity for certain rules and principles to adapt to the changing needs of that particular society. In fact, in the landmark case of Gumede v President of the Republic of South Africa  ZACC 23 the Court stated that,
Divorces often take a long time to be finalised, especially when contested. This usually translates into a huge financial burden on the shoulders of the spouse with the lesser means. Rule 43 of the Uniform Rules (High Court) provides for interim relief pertaining to the challenge mentioned above, and others as provided in the rule.
The prevalence of domestic violence incidences in our society currently, is worrying. A good number of such cases do not get reported due to various dynamics such as the perpetrator threatening the victim, or the victim being persuaded by other family members to not report the perpetrator as he/she is the ‘only bread winner’ in the family. Amidst all this, to have protection order applications being thrown out by the Courts, is not encouraging at all. In this brief article we discuss some factors which may cause a protection order application not to succeed.
The concept of law as it is known, ought to adapt to the changing requirements and needs of the society that it seeks to regulate. It would definitely be a disservice if this did not occur.
Statistics reflect that South Africa ranks amongst those with the highest incidences of domestic violence. This is a sad state of affairs, especially realising the historical and cultural dynamics around which women, who are mostly the victims of domestic violence, were subjected to abuse in traditional settings.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) is entrusted with obligations and responsibilities in terms of the South African Police Service Act 68 of 1995 (as amended) to, inter alia, “A member who is obliged to perform an official duty, shall, with due regard to his or her powers, duties and functions, perform such duty in a manner that is reasonable in the circumstances”, as per Section 13 (3) (a).
Domestic violence in South Africa is governed by the Domestic Violence Act, 116 of 1998 (the Act). The Act was promulgated to give effect to the obligations under Sections 9, 10 and 12 (1) (c), (d), (e) as well as obligations under international conventions such as the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
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