Being single and desperately trying to get married (again), I did some research on the *Department of Home Affairs’ (DHA) website regarding the rules and regulations of this, the second oldest, game in town.
Much to my dismay, I found that getting married is not easy – bringing to mind the old Afrikaans saying: **“Trou is nie perde koop nie.”
It’s very much like learning to play chess, you see. Marriage, like chess, consists of an Opening, a Middle Game, and an Endgame. Unfortunately, according to the DHA records, I went straight from the Middle Game to the No Game.
If you thought that getting married consisted of simply getting dressed in a leopard skin, tying hundreds of dead cattails around the bulge where your waistline used to be, putting an O-ring around your shiny head and wearing “duck glasses” and white takkies – and then, shaking your “spear” at the female wedding guests while singing “umshini wam, bam, thank you, ma’am” – think again.
It only comes with practice – after the seventh or eighth wife – and sixty-three children notched up on the shaft of your controversial spear.
For us mere mortals (read taxpayers), who cannot even afford one wife at a time, knowing the rules, is crucial.
So here, in short, are some of them:
Men: The law states that you may not marry these people:
The obvious ones: Mother, daughter, sister, etc.
But then it becomes scary:
Father’s mother, mother’s mother, son’s daughter, wife’s mother, father’s wife, father’s father’s wife, mother’s father’s wife, sister’s son’s daughter, etc, etc.
Think of this guys: If you should ignore these prohibitions, and for instance, marry your father’s mother. Your father then becomes your brother as well as your son; your brother becomes your grandson, and Bob’s your uncle – so to speak.
But even worse: If you marry your mother’s father’s wife; your grandfather will become your brother, your wife will become your daughter, and your father will give you a good hiding for confusing the family tree.
I got this from the DHA website:
“Verifying your marital status
Due to the large number of fraudulent marriages reported to the Department of Home Affairs every year, a facility has been created for you to check your marital status at any time. You will need your South African ID number in order to use this facility.
You can also sms the letter M followed by your ID number (example: M5001010050080) to 32551 A reply sms will be sent back to your cellphone to confirm your marital status and the date of your marriage. The sms’s cost R10 each and will be charged by your network service provider.”
In all seriousness folks, go to the DHA website and check on your marital status. I did – and found that I am “SINGLE” again, without getting divorced from my “wife.”
Isn’t technology wonderful? It didn’t cost me a cent.
The only problem is that, because I’m single – with two children (out of wedlock) by my “wife,” they are now considered to be ***illiterate in the eyes of the DHA. I feel that I have brought shame upon the family.
*Department of Home Affairs - http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/
**“Trou is nie perde koop nie.” – From the Latin: “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes,” meaning: “Beware of Zulus bearing gifts.”
***illiterate – According to Census 2011, many illiterate children cannot read. Or write.