n Annual Survey of South African Law - Conflict of laws

Volume 2011, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-4605



In 2011(2) SA 360 (WCC), the court was called upon to grant a decree of divorce and division of the joint estate of a same-sex relationship concluded abroad. The plaintiff, who was a holder of a British passport and a resident of Johannesburg in March 2005, shortly thereafter left South Africa to work and reside in the United Kingdom. She wanted to take up employment in the United Kingdom in order to earn money in a foreign currency and then to return to South Africa. The plaintiff and the defendant knew each other and they travelled together to England, where they then cohabited. On 9 August 2006, the parties entered into a civil partnership at the West Surrey Register Office in Guildford, outside London. Their partnership was validated by a certificate issued under the English Civil Partnership Act, 2004, which Act governs registered same-sex partnerships. After some time, the relationship between the parties soured and they separated in 2007. The plaintiff returned to South Africa in 2009 and now resides permanently in Gordon's Bay, Western Cape, whereas the defendant who also returned from the United Kingdom, is resident in Kempton Park, Gauteng. As a result of the parties' relationship having broken down irretrievably, the plaintiff issued summons in March 2010.

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