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Limpopo High Court rules that wome

 

Press Release

Limpopo High Court rules that women in polygynous marriages have equal rights and that the Customary Marriages Act discriminates against these women.

The High Court in Thohoyandou, Limpopo province, yesterday handed down judgment in the Ramuhovhi matter, where the core issue raised in the case is the constitutional validity of section 7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (‘the Recognition Act’) which regulates the proprietary consequences of polygamous marriages entered into before the commencement of the Recognition Act, being 15 November 2000. Continue Reading

POLICE ABUSE OF SEX WORKERS

 

Press Release

POLICE ABUSE OF SEX WORKERS: DATA FROM CASES REPORTED TO THE WOMEN’S LEGAL CENTRE BETWEEN 2011 AND 2015

This report draws on reported cases from sex workers who approached the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) between 2011 and 2015 for information, guidance and legal assistance to access their rights.

The analysis highlights the gap between the rights enshrined in the South African Constitution and the treatment that sex workers experience. Continue Reading

JAN KLAASE AND ELSIE KLAASE V. JOZIA JOHANNES VAN DER MERWE

 

Press Release

JAN KLAASE AND ELSIE KLAASE V. JOZIA JOHANNES VAN DER MERWE PRESS RELEASE

South African NGO faces Noordhoek Trust on the interpretation of an occupier, particularly for the spouses of farm workers, under ESTA

On the 14th of July 2016, a month before our national Women’s Month, the Constitutional Court of South Africa released its judgment in the matter of JAN KLAASE and ELSIE KLAASE v JOZIA JOHANNES VAN DER MERWE (N.O. OF THE NOORDHOEK TRUST) and JOZIA JOHANNES VAN DER MERWE under case number CC case number: 23/2015 where the court set aside the eviction application of Mrs Klaase. Continue Reading

NGO STATEMENT ON HELEN SUZMAN FOUNDATION RAID

 

Press Release

WLC stands united with NGOs on HSF raid – NGO STATEMENT ON HELEN SUZMAN FOUNDATION RAID

On Sunday afternoon, the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) offices in Parktown, Johannesburg were the target of a military-style raid. Those conducting the raid clearly knew what they were looking for: computers and other documentation relating to the programmatic work of the HSF were taken. The brazen, co-ordinated nature of the operation and its targeted, selective focus are sinister. So, too, is its timing. Continue Reading

What About the Women?

 

Press Release

What About the Women?

The 2016 State of the Nation Address (SONA) yielded no surprises when President Zuma failed to single out South African women as a vulnerable group, much less present reforms constructed to address injustices against women.

The SONA is meant to set out the government’s key policy objective year ahead, which is the basis for executive action during that calendar year. These objective inform budget allocation and service delivery and they should affect the realization of women’s rights and impact on their social and economic position.

President Jacob Zuma’s 2016 SONA was clearly aimed at calming inve supporters as it focussed on the economy, cost savings and other monetary reforms. Glaringly missing was any attention to the women of the nation, beside the acknowledgement of the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March on Pretoria, a general sta span and the encouragement of big business to partner with women and youth.

Women and girls make up almost 52% of the South African populace, but after 22 years of democracy and the most inclusive constitution in the world, equality in treatment, services, and employment is yet to be achieved for this sector of the population. Economic transformation is undoubtedly a priority for our government but SONA 2016 did nothing specific to address the poverty of women. Women are the most overburdened and encumbered in our nation and they bear the brunt of inequality in SA. Our women remain unemployed, poverty stricken and landless. This is the state of our nation.

One of SA’s most shaming social ills is the high rate of violation that we have an annual period of awareness called 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children. Yet violence against women remains prevalent in our society and dominates our headlines and our courts. This is the state of our nation.

No indication was given on the improvement on service levels in the of our public services e.g. health, welfare, justice, education etc. It is where women are severely maltreated and discriminated against on a daily basis. This is the state of our nation.

The repeated failure by government to specifically focus on the needs of women and girls ultimately results in the indirect, and sometimes direct, prioritisation of men in all government efforts aimed at improving the lives of all who live in South Africa. Government must continue to be held accountable for its failure to bring about substantive equality for women and girls through its policies and activities. Gender-blindness cannot be tolerated any longer.

That should be the State of our Nation.

JEZILE V THE STATE

 

PRESS RELEASE

JEZILE V THE STATE – Cape Town High Court Rejects Manipulated “Customary” Practice of Ukuthwala

Tuesday 24 March 2015 – After months of deliberation, Justice Cloete of the Cape Town High Court handed down judgment in the Jezile matter. The full court decided unanimously to affirm Mr. Jezile’s convictions of human trafficking and rape, but set aside his convictions for assault and simple assault. The court declined to accept Mr. Jezile’s argument that he was in a customary marriage through Ukuthwala. Continue Reading

Recognition of Muslim Marriages Long Overdue

 

Press Release

Recognition of Muslim Marriages Long Overdue – says WLC

Centre takes Government to court to develop law that will give Muslim marriages legal status

During his January 8th Statement earlier this year President Jacob Zuma said “we can boldly state that laws which discriminate on the basis of race, gender and other prohibited grounds have been removed”. While this is true in many cases, unfortunately this is not true for many Muslim women as Muslim marriages in South Africa do not have legal status – unlike unions entered into under civil or African customary law. Continue Reading