oa De Rebus - The ending of a customary marriage - what happens to the ? : feature

Volume 2013, Issue 536
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



The conclusion and dissolution of a customary marriage is a process currently regulated by the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (RCMA). This Act, in the words of Moseneke DCJ in 2009 (3) SA 152 (CC) at para 16 'represents a belated but welcome and ambitious legislative effort to remedy the historical humiliation and exclusion meted out to spouses in marriages which were entered into in accordance with the law and culture of indigenous African people of this country. ... [P]ast courts and legislation accorded marriages under indigenous law no more than a scant recognition under the lowly rubric of customary "unions" '.

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