From the news desk

South Africa enacts law recognizing Muslim marriages for divorce proceedings

Share this article

By Ragheema Mclean

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the Divorce Amendment Bill into law, recognizing Muslim marriages and providing statutory protection for women and children during marital dissolution.

Prompted by a Constitutional Court ruling, the amendment addresses previous shortcomings by defining Muslim marriages and ensuring protection for dependents, asset redistribution, and forfeiture of patrimonial benefits.

The amendment aims to provide Muslim couples married under Islamic law with statutory protection without the need for an additional civil marriage registration, as was previously required.

Advocate Seehaam Samaai from the Women’s Legal Centre commented on the significance of the new law, noting, “The signing into law of this divorce amendment act is an important step in upholding the constitutional court’s judgment and ensuring that Muslim women can institute divorce proceedings against their spouses should they believe that their marriages have broken down.”

“The Women’s Legal Centre was heavily involved in the submission process for this amendment, advocating for the rights of Muslim women.”

Samaai explained that this allows women to obtain a legally binding court order without waiting for a religious declaration of divorce.

“The court will now be empowered to assess the division of property acquired during the marriage, ensuring a fair and equitable outcome.”

She noted that while this is a victory for Muslim women, more work needs to be done. She emphasized the need to address issues such as the age of marriage and child marriage.

Samaai emphasized that this amendment will give millions of Muslim women access to the country’s divorce court, ensuring they have the same level of protection as other women regarding housing, land, and property rights.

VOC News

Photo: Pexels

Share this article
WhatsApp WhatsApp us
Wait a sec, saving restore vars.