ANC ‘no’ to Traditional Courts Bill

2013-03-18 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The ANC is apparently poised to reject the Traditional Courts Bill, which has severe implications for the rights of women.

Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson for the chief whip, confirmed yesterday that the bill was discussed at a recent meeting of the ANC caucus.

“The caucus broke into various commissions and the bill was one issue that was discussed.” Mothapo said provisional resolutions would only become policy once they had been accepted by the full caucus.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that a resolution was accepted rejecting the bill, to the joy of the ANC Women’s League and the disappointment of traditional leaders, who the ANC is courting in hope of securing the votes of their subjects.

The bill, drafted on the initiative of traditional leaders, reaffirmed the unequal status of women under the jurisdiction of traditional courts.

It also allowed the continuation of traditional practices by which, for instance, brothers-in-law of widows take over their deceased brother’s marital rights. The bill was opposed by progressive groups, the women’s league and Lulu Xingwana, the Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities.

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