To date, religious marriages including Muslim marriages, Hindu marriages and Jewish marriages in South Africa have not been afforded legal recognition, writes Associate Professor Waheeda Amien of the Faculty’s Department of Public Law.
“On 30 May 2018, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) in Cape Town hosted President Cyril Ramaphosa at a community iftar (Muslim breaking of the fast). On this occasion, the President indicated the government’s commitment to ensuring that Muslim marriages are afforded recognition.
When the audience was provided an opportunity to comment, I indicated to the President that the state’s initiative to draft legislation to recognise all religious marriages is a step in the right direction, and that the composition of an advisory committee tasked with drafting such legislation needs to be inclusive and ensure that experts in the different religious marriage laws are represented on such a committee.
There is a broader context within which the above suggestion was made to the President, which I would like to elaborate upon.”