n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - The co-existence of customary and civil marriages under the Black Administration Act 38 of 1927 and the recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 - the Supreme Court of Appeal introduces polygyny into some civil marriages
2011 5 SA 453 (SCA) : regspraak




In South African law, civil marriages are monogamous. Thus, as a rule, a party to an existing civil marriage may not enter into another marriage regardless of whether the subsequent marriage is a civil marriage, a customary marriage or a marriage (or civil partnership) under the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006. Any marriage (or civil partnership) concluded in violation of this rule is invalid. These rules have been confirmed by the legislature and the courts, and are straightforward and easy to apply (see s 8(3) of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006; 2 NAC 167 (1911) 169; 1917 AD 302; 1970 BAC 76 (S) 77; 1981 AC 42 (S) 77; 2008 4 SA 12 (D)).


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