oa De Rebus - Ukuthwala : is it all culturally relative? : feature
One of the fundamental ideals set out in the Preamble of the Constitution is the attainment of a society based on social justice. This ideal will remain a pipedream if the dehumanisation, sexist exploitation and suffering of black women and girls under patriarchal tyranny are allowed to continue under the guise of custom, in particular ukuthwala. The practice of ukuthwala has been thrust into the spotlight by a criminal appeal case of Jezile v S and Others (WCC) (unreported case no 127/2014, 23-3-2015). In a landmark judgment delivered by a full Bench of the Western Cape Division, the court held that ukuthwala is no defence to crimes of rape, human trafficking and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.
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