oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The transformation of a customary marriage in Zulu law

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The aim of this article is to analyse in broad outline the changes which a customary marriage in Zulu law has undergone as a result of the new KwaZulu Act on the Code of Zulu Law (hereinafter called the KwaZulu Act). No doubt the KwaZulu Act is not the only factor which has brought about a transformation of a customary marriage; there are others, but it is the greatest single factor that has been responsible for its radical legal metamorphosis. The Act itself is based on a sound social transformation as evidenced by the practices of the people. In order to demonstrate these innovations and their legal implications for a customary marriage in general, it is imperative to sketch the traditional features of a customary marriage and then to point out the changes. Attention will also occasionally be drawn to other changes which were not directly brought about by the KwaZulu Act but which are, nonetheless, legally relevant. The significance of these changes is that they illustrate that a customary marriage is capable of change.

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