Legal Articles and Guides
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The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has refused to approve a surrogacy agreement between a gay couple who are not living together as a ‘family unit’. According to a Beeld report, Judge Ronel Tolmay raised concerns about one of the partners, a medical specialist, who is worried that his paternity through surrogacy would reveal his sexual orientation to colleagues.
A Deputy Minister is embroiled in a divorce battle with his ex-wife in a case that could set a precedent for women in the Eastern Cape, says a report in The Star. The unemployed mother has revealed in an affidavit filed in the Constitutional Court that her husband disregarded her as an equal and reduced her to an inferior being. ‘He set the (bad) example of how men should treat women in the area of the former Transkei,’ stated the ex-wife’s affidavit.
The South African Constitution provides an extensive Bill of Rights protecting the rights of all South Africans. Notwithstanding the fact that the values underlying the Constitution envisage a parent-child relationship as one excluding all forms of violence, South African parents have until recently been allowed to inflict physical harm on their children for disciplinary purposes. After the recent South Gauteng High Court judgment, this is no longer the position. Consequently, children’s underlying democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom are not allowed to be undermined.
Western Cape High Court Judge Andre le Grange has declared the Wills Act inconsistent with the Constitution, as it only recognises legal marriages and not Muslim marriages. A Cape Argus report says this comes in the wake of a highly publicised Muslim Marriages’ legal dispute.
Cheating lover Mtshengu Zimu, who booted out his fiancée after he started a relationship with another woman, will have to cough up R123 149 for the pain he caused his former prospective wife. A report on the IoL site notes that Noncebo Nhlapo claimed more than R2m in damages from Zimu after he had asked for her hand in marriage, but later reneged. While allowing certain expenses Nhlapo proved she incurred in preparation for their ‘long and happy life together’ and some damages for her injured feelings relating to the manner in which he had dumped her, the court refused the bulk of her claim.
The Eastern Cape High Court (Grahamstown) has ruled in favour of biological parents in round one of what promises to be an epic court battle for primary custody of a little boy, says a Daily Dispatch report. According to court papers, the two-year-old was largely cared for by his biological mother, Jenny, and her spouse Katy during their marriage (not their real names). But when the Grahamstown couple’s relationship broke down they separated.
A judgment in the Western Cape High Court has brought relief to transgender people whose gender could not be changed by the department or who were advised to divorce and remarry, according to a TimesLIVE report. The case centred on three women and their spouses. In two cases the Department of Home had refused to change their gender description.
Children’s rights came into focus in the Western Cape High Court yesterday as arguments to have Muslim marriages recognised under common law continued, notes a report in The Mercury. Advocate Michelle O’Sullivan, for the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC), argued that because Muslim marriages were not recognised, when couples divorced there was no automatic court oversight for the well-being of minors. This included issues such as where children would live, and orders on maintenance payments.
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The struggle to bring Muslim marriages under the constitutional fold continued in the Western Cape High Court, says a Cape Argus report. Yesterday, Advocate Nazreen Bawa of the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) – who brought the case before court – read out a summary of her heads of argument. Detailing the WLC’s application, Bawa described the complaint as an unmet constitutional obligation.
Arguments to have the Muslim Marriages Bill made law finally started in the Western Cape High Court yesterday. A Cape Times report says the Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) has brought President Jacob Zuma, Parliament, the departments of Home Affairs, Justice and Correctional Services to court to have Muslim marriages recognised with the passing of the Bill. The WLC is arguing that by not recognising Muslim marriages under common law, Muslim women are not afforded legal protection and do not have access to the courts to assert their rights.
In an unusual case, a father has been barred from smoking in front of his children. According to a Beeld report, the father brought an urgent application before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) to force his estranged wife to place their children in his care until 23 July. The couple’s eldest child has a physical disability and the father told the court that he wanted to contribute to the specialised care the child needs, but the mother was refusing to allow the children to stay with him.
The Constitutional Court reserved judgment last week in a confirmation hearing on the Limpopo High Court’s decision in the matter of Ramuhovhi and Another v The President of the Republic of SA. A Fin24 report says his case concerns the validity of section 7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act (RCMA). Section 7(1) of the RCMA regulates the proprietary consequences of polygynous marriages entered before the Act came into force in November 2000.
It is a common occurrence in our Courts when that parties separate they often require domestic violence orders against one another. These domestic violence orders usually prohibits or permits certain actions from either party and should these provisions in the so-called interdicts be beached, the aggrieved party would of course be able to approach the local police station for the offender to be arrested.
The customary marriage issue is to be argued in the Constitutional Court today. The matter has been brought by Thokozani Maphumulo, the second wife of her husband, Musawenkosi, for 25 years until his death. In his will he left his entire estate to his eldest born son from his first wife. In 2015, two years after he died, she was served with an eviction notice and she became another victim of an unregulated customary marriage system, notes a News24 report.