Month: August 2018

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Statement – WLCT v President of the Republic of South Africa & Others

Media Statement

Women’s Legal Centre Trust v President of the Republic of South Africa & Others (case no: 22481/2014) – Recognition of Muslim Marriages:

The Women’s Legal Centre welcomes the judgment handed down by the Western Cape High Court this morning (31 Aug 2018) by Honourable Judges Desai, Boqwana, and Salie-Hlophe.

The judgment declares that the President and Cabinet have failed to fulfil their constitutional obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in sections 9, 10, 15, 28, 31 and 34 of the Constitution[1], and that such conduct is invalid.[2] The President and Cabinet, together with Parliament have been directed to rectify this failure within 24 months and to enact ‘legislation to recognise marriages solemnised in accordance with the tenets of Sharia law (`Muslim marriages’) as valid marriages and to regulate the consequences of such recognition.’[3] In addition, the judgment has ordered that should such legislation not be enacted within the 24 month period, marriages solemnised in terms of Sharia law may ‘be dissolved in accordance with the Divorce Act 70 of 1979’, provided that section 7(3)[4] of the Act will apply to such unions.[5]

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