Can a woman have more than one husband?

By Drum Digital
02 February 2016

By Vida Li Sik

Karabo Moroka (played by Connie Ferguson) in the TV show Generations: Legacy wants to take a second husband – shocking her on-screen husband Tau Mogale (Rapulana Seiphemo) and viewers of the popular soapie.

While polygamy is a well-known cultural practice in South Africa, taking two husbands – called polyandry – is unheard of in our country.

While Karabo’s lawyer says she has a cultural right to do so, this is not technically correct, says Nthabiseng Monareng, a family law expert based in Roodepoort, west of Joburg.

“South African law currently does not recognise polyandry,” she says. “This is because customary law is based on the different traditions practiced by different cultures and none of the cultures recognise it.  Only polygamy is legally recognised but there are legal procedures that must be recognised first,” Nthabiseng explains.

The only African countries where it is accepted for a woman to have two husbands are Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania.

So unless Karabo is planning to move to any of these countries soon, she’ll have to do with Tau only.

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