A class action case calling for the recognition of Muslim marriages has been postponed to the 28th August. The matter was meant to be heard at the Western Cape high court on Monday morning. The Women’s Legal Centre launched the application to compel the South African Government to give recognition to Muslim personal law, including Muslim marriages. The centre’s director Seeham Samai says three judges have now been appointed to hear the matter
“A directions hearing was convened by the High Court this morning after the Judge President ordered the consolidation of a further matter pending before the High Court which similarly highlights the plight of Muslim women,” she explained.
There are several matters that are pending at a number of courts across the country. This is testament to the fact that Muslim women are struggling to assert their rights because their Muslim marriages and the consequences arising therefrom are not legally recognised. They have no option but to plead their cases with the courts and the judiciary.
“Given the importance of the matter three judges have now been appointed to hear the matter- Judges S Desai, G Salie-Hlophe and NP Boqwana.”
This morning saw women come to the steps of the High Court from all over Cape Town show solidarity and support for this matter.
“The lived reality of these women is that legal protection has been denied to them some 16 years after the Constitution came into force. This results in widespread oppression and gender discrimination in areas such as divorce, the duties of support, parental rights and responsibilities and inheritance.”