oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The malome - then and now

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Today's malome, although often approached at times of matrimonial discord, plays no role and has no presence during civil divorce settlement negotiations where property and/or custody of children is relevant. This is left to the legal representatives of the couple - usually on the courthouse steps. Traditionally divorce is not known to the Batswana people and in rare cases where the wife has returned to her original group, property interests and matters affecting children such as guardianship and custody, were clear cut and not subject to negotiation. Nevertheless in modern times where mediation is possible and where one of the spouses has a recognised malome, it is felt that he could play a useful role. Similarly, when reform of social benefits is considered the malome who has become the custodian of his sister's child should be taken into account.

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