Al Jama-ah in Parliament has introduced a bill on the provisional registration of Muslim marriages and private members to implement the ruling of the Constitutional Court (Con Court) on Muslim marriages.
This comes after the Con Court ruled that the common law definition of marriage is unconstitutional and invalid because it excludes Muslim marriages.
Contradictions to the Constitution
Both the Marriage and Divorce Acts were found to be unconstitutional.
The judgment also strengthens the rights of affected women and children in Muslim marriages, especially when the marriage ends in divorce. Al Jama-ah welcomed the ruling that an interim solution was needed.
The court has given parliament and the government two years to remedy the deficiency or develop legislation to recognize Muslim marriages.
Al Jama-ah leader Ganief Hendricks says the Court of Appeal previously gave the government six years to amend the divorce or marriage law to allow the nikah and talaq to be recognized. He adds that they will have to wait until 2024 for the 7th or 8th Parliament to enact the legislation.
“Now Al Jama-ah says we need an interim solution, so we submitted a private members bill just to register a Muslim marriage so we can face legal consequences. So if the Imam marries you, he must trigger a valid South African marriage certificate, which would give legal consequences to women and children.” Hendrick explains.
Meanwhile, Muslim marriage lawyer Fairouz Nagialegal, who claims to have been a victim of abuse, says the con court ruling is a move in the right direction. However, she warns that women in Muslim marriages may still have to go through the same double processes as it is now just a matter of getting divorces through the courts immediately.
She elaborates: “So the question for me is, did the court go far enough to recognize the Islamic system that is actually associated with Muslim marriages? I don’t think they did. I think that there are legal norms and rights and duties that are not necessarily enforceable as they are now embedded in a civil legal framework in relation to Muslim marriages and in relation to the law on divorce. Are there areas of application that are not brought to court? So for Muslim women this could be difficult. That might even be complicated to understand.”
Government Has Two Years to Amend Marriage or Divorce Law to Recognize Islamic Marriages – SABC News
Source link Government Has Two Years to Amend Marriage or Divorce Law to Recognize Islamic Marriages – SABC News