Statements

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Moosa NO and others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and others

Media Statement

Moosa NO and others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and others (Trustees of The Women’s Legal Centre Trust as Amicus Curiae) CCT 251/17:

The Women’s Legal Centre welcomes the unanimous judgment handed down this morning (29 June 2018) by the Constitutional Court in the matter of Moosa NO and Others v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Others (Trustees of the Women’s Legal Centre Trust as Amicus Curiae). Once again, the Court has had to come to the assistance of Muslim women in this country, who continue to face the negative consequences of their marriages not being legally recognised.

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Levenstein and Others v Estate of the Late Sidney Lewis Frankel and Others

Media Statement

Levenstein and Others v Estate of the Late Sidney Lewis Frankel and Others (Case CCT: 170/17)

The Women’s Legal Centre welcomes the unanimous judgment handed down this morning (14 June 2018) by the Constitutional Court in the matter of Levenstein and Others v Estate of the Late Sidney Lewis Frankel and Others (Case CCT: 170/17).

The judgment was a confirmation of the order handed down on 15 June 2017 by Hartford, AJ sitting in the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg. The case concerned the constitutionality of section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (the CPA), which prohibits the prosecution of sexual offences, other than rape or compelled rape, beyond a period of twenty years from the time when the offence was committed. Continue Reading

Statement – Voice of the Unborn Baby – 1 June 2018

Media Statement

Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition members apply to join as a friend of the court to ensure that women’s rights to safe and legal abortions are not eroded in South Africa

On Monday, 28 May 2018, members of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition (SRJC) legal working group applied to be admitted as amici curiae in the matter between The Voice of the Unborn Baby NPC and the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban as Applicants, and the Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Health as Respondents. The SRJC legal working group includes representatives from the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), Women in Sexual and Reproductive Health Associates (WISH), Amnesty International, and Legal Academics. In this matter the WLC and LRC are representing the Women’s Legal Centre Trust and WISH. The case was brought in 2017 in the Pretoria Division of the High Court, and seeks to declare certain sections of the Births and Deaths Registration Act unconstitutional as they do not provide ‘bereaved parents’ the right to bury a foetus that has died before the age of viability (26 weeks in utero). This relief could have an impact on the right to access safe and legal abortions.

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Court case seeks to the end the prescription of sexual offences.

Media Statement

Sexual Harassment in the Social Justice Sector

The Women’s Legal Centre is an African feminist legal centre that advances women’s rights and equality. Like so many other institutions in the social justice sector we have been deeply affected by the recent media reports, statements and admissions from individuals and organisations who we have considered partners and friends.

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Western Cape Education Department & another v S (Women’s Legal Centre as Amicus Curiae)

Western Cape Education Department & another v S (Women’s Legal Centre as Amicus Curiae)

Media Statement

Head of Department: Western Cape Education Department & another v S (Women’s Legal Centre as Amicus Curiae) (1209/2016) [2017]:

The Women’s Legal Centre welcomes the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal on Wednesday 13 December 2017.

The judgment concerned the mother of a child who had attended Fish Hoek High School since 2011. Ms S submitted her first application for a fee exemption in that same year. The form required, inter alia, that the combined annual gross income of the child’s parents be provided. Continue Reading

We are shocked at the arrest of our colleagues by the Tanzanian Police

Media Statement

Issued by CHESA and ISLA.

20 October 2017, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania: On Tuesday, 17 October 2017, a legal consultation convened by Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and Community Health Services and Advocacy (CHESA) was raided by the Tanzanian Police. The consultation was convened in order to get more instructions and evidence on a case that we plan to file before a court. The case concerns a challenge to government’s decision to limit the provision of certain health services that it had previously provided. Continue Reading

Court case seeks to the end the prescription of sexual offences.

Court case seeks to the end the prescription of sexual offences.

Media Statement

Court case seeks to the end the prescription of sexual offences.

Today 22 May the Women’s Legal Centre will appear as a ‘friend of the court’ (amicus curiae) in the South Gauteng High Court in the matter between Levenstein (and 7 others) and Sidney Frankel, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gauteng (Case 29573/2016). The WLC largely supports the case of the applicants (Levenstein & others) who are seeking to declare section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act as unconstitutional in that it bars the right to prosecute all sexual offences, other than rape, after a lapse of 20 years after the offence has been perpetrated.

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to honour our late leader Ahmed Kathrada

to honour our late leader Ahmed Kathrada

Media Statement

To honour our late leader Ahmed Kathrada

Thursday 06 April 2017; In President Jacob Zuma’s state of the national address this year, he emphasised Governments focus on transforming the economy so that all South Africans will benefit, especially the poor, and as noted by the President the majority being black women.

As the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) we note with concern the recent events. On Thursday 30 March President Jacob Zuma made 20 changes (10 ministers and 10 deputy ministers) to his national executive. It is the 11th time he has reshuffled the executive, since his first national executive in May 2009.

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New date agreed by the parties in the recognition of Muslim marriages class action

New date agreed by the parties in the recognition of Muslim marriages class action

Media Statement

New date agreed by the parties in the recognition of Muslim marriages class action

Today Monday 20 March 2017, the day before Human Rights Day, a new date was agreed by the parties in the recognition of Muslim marriages class action to be heard by the High Court. The 28th August has been agreed.

A directions hearing was convened by the High Court this morning after the Judge President ordered the consolidation of a further matter pending before the High Court which similarly highlights the plight of Muslim women.

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failure to recognise Muslim marriages

failure to recognise Muslim marriages

Media Statement

To recognise Muslim marriages

On Monday 20 March 2017, the day before Human Rights Day, the Western Cape High Court was due to hear arguments from the WLC, the Sate, and interested parties on whether the failure to recognise Muslim marriages, among others, discriminates against women.

The ongoing violation of the human rights of women in Muslim marriages has been the subject of a more than a decade law reform process. This process to all intents and purposes have been abandoned. The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) launched its application because the South African Government failed to comply with its constitutional obligations to give recognition to Muslim personal law, including Muslim marriages and the consequences arising therefrom, instead it has permitted the continued operation of unconstitutional legislation.

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