News24

DA opposes traditional courts bill

2012-05-24 19:03

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance will oppose the draft traditional courts bill in its entirety, party leader Helen Zille said on Thursday.

The bill undermined constitutional democracy and did not promote the development of customary law, Zille told journalists at Parliament.

"Instead, it creates an entirely parallel legal system which undermines the rights of women in particular.

"The bill reinforces apartheid-era homelands and powers. It is a throw-back to Bantustan boundaries into which more than four million people were forcibly removed under the infamous Black Authorities Act of 1951," she said.

A traditional leader would hold power over his or her community, and these people would be at the mercy of that particular leader. A traditional leader could also easily manipulate the customary law to enrich himself to the disadvantage of others.

Zille said customary law should take into account the experiences of women and children specifically, as well as their rights to equality and to participate in the practice of their culture.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said every person had the right to have any dispute that could be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair public hearing before a court, or independent and impartial tribunal.

However, traditional leaders did not satisfy the criteria for independence or impartiality "exactly because they often make the law, interpret, adjudicate, enforce it, and may often benefit from the penalties they imposed".

The bill would also violate the doctrine of separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution and central to any democratic society.

The bill is currently being dealt with in the National Council of Provinces.

Comments
  • simba.lumbe - 2012-05-24 19:13

    ANC and it's propensity to send us back to the dark ages!

      Squeegee - 2012-05-24 19:20

      Traditional healers, traditional leaders, traditional courts - Back to the past. Open for abuse and corruption.

      Tax - 2012-05-24 19:21

      Too true. They want their supporters in the bush and the whites to produce while the keep their cANCerous snouts in the feeding trough.

      mariuskowie - 2012-05-24 19:53

      The traditional courts enforce the death penalty. Execution via necklacing. Please DA, fight for the continuance of democracy. The ANC is very fast taking us back to South Africa's darkest hour.

      Gordon - 2012-05-24 20:06

      Some questions I would love to get an honest answer from the ANC on. Do you believe that SA should be a democratic country for the rest of time? If yes, how do you plan to abolish chiefdoms/tribal rule culture that is essentially a non-democratic culture? If no, how do you plan to abolish the current democratic rule? Considering you cannot have at the core of any society both democratic and non-democratic rule, which one is the ANC aiming for?

      Charles-Bronson - 2012-05-24 21:42

      ANC thiefs, you are not gods. Egypte leaders also believed they were untouchable. Look now! Everyman got a brakepoint!!

  • Peter Zylstra - 2012-05-24 19:20

    this is after all Africa....the home of backwardness!

      arthur.hugh - 2012-05-24 20:26

      Craig - why don't you fark off back to North Africa where your ancestors originate from, since YOU stole land from the Khoisan people who are the ONLY ones with a right to lay ancestral claim to the land in SA.

      graham.plessis - 2012-05-24 20:54

      I am shocked by the racism here. Where is the spirit if Madiba? Is South Africa not for everyone? SA's strength is its many languages and cultures - don't destroy this!

      arthur.hugh - 2012-05-24 21:17

      Sorry for you Sango, all my forefathers are South African!

  • Roy - 2012-05-24 19:33

    They're not coping in 1st world governance so they're taking it down a couple hundred notches!

      arthur.hugh - 2012-05-24 20:21

      craig - no, democracy instead of dictatorship / communism.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-05-24 20:22

      Zuma forgets he is not a "king" - he is a servant of the people.

      sango.jika - 2012-05-24 20:32

      Its a pity that some people when black people practise their own culture some people would think we backwards. But white people can have kings, queens and princesses, i guess that would be the first world. Its a very strange world we leave in.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-05-24 20:36

      Sango - I think the Monarchy is a load of rubbish too, I've never understood why the UK still has a Queen, it's not like she has any real power (she has to ask the Prime Minster permission for anything first). As for black culture - dude I love it - I love traditional African music, I love the folk stories, I love traditional African clothing. But just like the UK Kings and Queens used to go around chopping off heads and doing as they please centuries ago, they can't have certain "old laws" anymore - same goes for here in SA with traditional law. Some things I think should stay to preserve it - but they should not have sway over the governance of the country.

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-05-25 09:35

      @Sango.jika You cannot have a free democratic SA, and still want to live traditionally. There is nothing wrong with practising your culture, no one is saying you can't. But traditional culture is not modern, it is not democratic. Just like the monarchy of England and France used to be absolute monarchy's, where there was absolute law no matter what, based on outdated religious morals, so is traditional culture. You can't have your cake and eat it too (never got that saying). It's either, or. Either you want to live in a free modern democratic SA, or you want to live in a traditional, outdated SA.

  • Mantsho - 2012-05-24 19:39

    Instead of going forward we are going backwards, goverment of people who didn't go to schoo is not easy,

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-05-25 08:48

      schoo and goverment is that a sign that you have not gone to school too?

  • jannie.beirowski - 2012-05-24 19:49

    And they will argue it is the tradition of Africans! They supported the arguement of democracy, but still control the rights, or rather non-rights of women. The people supporting this bill has no right to exist at all and should be hanged by their toenails until their are smothered by their testicals hanging down and preventing them from breathing!

      jannie.beirowski - 2012-05-24 22:50

      One of the bill's fiercest critics is Mamphela Ramphele, who helped found the Black Consciousness Movement with Steve Biko. A trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation, Ramphele sits on the boards of numerous blue-chip companies and is a force behind the recently formed Citizen Movement for Social Change. Ramphele lives in Cape Town now, but was born and raised in rural Limpopo. "The Traditional Courts Bill is 'Goodbye apartheid in 1994. Welcome apartheid in 2012.' It is a cruel irony that we are talking about this in 2012," Ramphele recently told those gathered for a meeting on the bill at UCT . "When Madiba told me that, as part of the negotiated settlement, they are going to enshrine customary law in the Constitution, I said, 'Tata, be careful not to end up in a situation where all your sacrifices as a freedom fighter are undermined by the inherent contradictions between customary law, or traditional law, or African law, and the constitutional law under which we live.'

      wesley.bischoff - 2012-05-25 09:37

      @Craig. If you want whites to leave so bad, im sure you won't mind us taking all the technology and innovations we brought with us hey? No more taxi's and modern food production for youuuuu...

  • Moss Molokomme - 2012-05-24 19:49

    ANC suck! i will never vote for them! this is 2012 for Zuma's sake!

      bertie.brink - 2012-05-24 22:11

      re-Afrikanize hmmm yeah so 2000 years ago Romans invented Maths (something ANC doesnt know of) and became the most powerful country in the world. shame yeah Black Africans were then still trying to figure out how to make fire. No African country has ever been a world super power or invented anything in history. so to re-Afrikanize like you say hmmm probably means you going back to live in a clay hut or a cave. yeah buddy you go do that. BTW we never stole anyland remember that you as black person also migrated to the southern tip of africa my boy. go learn your history. besides who cares about the past only idiot do live for the future and you'll see by working together we can achieve anything. but you wont understand. so sad actually

  • Anthony - 2012-05-24 19:54

    WOuld this pass a test in the constitutional court?

      Press - 2012-05-24 20:32

      Depends how many kangaroos on the bench . . . .

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:19

      It will not pass. ANC is keen to try bills but loose them at the Constitutional Court. This is the government that had to be taken to court to (1)issue anti-retrovirals, to (2)issue schoolbooks in Limpopo,to (3)restructure Hawks, to (4)review Armsdealgate etc.

  • sango.jika - 2012-05-24 20:03

    DA opposes everything, Zille needs to shut the hell up.

      lydonmcg - 2012-05-24 20:05

      If only you'd take your own advice.

      Press - 2012-05-24 20:38

      sango.jika - sounds like you have a vested interest here . . . throw the bones and make the constitution go away . . .

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:21

      This time she is very right. We lived double-oppression by NP and chiefs. For our women it's actually triple-oppression.

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:24

      We lived triple oppression under NP,chiefs nd bantustans. It was even worse for our women. This bill needs to be challenged.

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:24

      We lived triple oppression under NP,chiefs nd bantustans. It was even worse for our women. This bill needs to be challenged.

  • Mark - 2012-05-24 20:10

    Yes, their Subjects are supposed to kowtow and vote for the Party that pays their Chiefs and that traditional right to keep Tribespeople in a permanent state of subjugation, ignorance and addiction to *rse-licking.

  • michael.falatsi - 2012-05-24 20:21

    hey u stupid white zille not all of us want this white western law,it is not african we want traditional law.before your white ansister colonised us.do u think we dd have any laws

      arthur.hugh - 2012-05-24 20:31

      You hate the West so much? Fine - then don't drive a car, wear a watch, use a computer or use anything that the West invented and instead, be a full on traditional black person. Wear your loin cloth, go hunt your own food and be 100% who you claim to be - not some halfwit black guy in a suit made by white people but calling for traditional laws. Chop.

      Hermann - 2012-05-24 20:33

      Oh boy, under traditional law if you said you want "white law or any other law" you would have had your skull crushed by a knobkierie for opposing the traditional chief. Nice thought hey.

      MaxsonN - 2012-05-24 20:36

      The only person who is stupid here is you buddy.. You don't even understand what you are saying.. I wonder if you read the intire article or you just read the head title and post a comment..

      Rowan Atterbury - 2012-05-24 21:01

      I agree with you Falatsi, we should have left you in dark when we found you.

      Whitemist Blackmist - 2012-05-24 21:06

      Hate breeds hate!! Whites accept that blacks have and had their own customs. Blacks dont respond with hate to a few ignorant whites, the majority of us understand you want to be governed by your own rules as we want to be governed by our western laws. We can live side by side in harmony..GOD created the colours even the Jews where once slaves, many white tribes before the Romans lived under tribal laws, so can you. RESPECT for all people!!

      arthur.hugh - 2012-05-24 21:20

      Well said whitemist. Sorry - sometimes I get caught up in the fray!

      Clayton Richard Delport - 2012-05-25 07:03

      Wahahaha hahahaha you don't even know your own history.... Mr cellphone man that hates western ways... Your education level shows

  • Tony - 2012-05-24 20:47

    this law should be sent to the united nations for them to see who they so morally handed this country to , with the full report of the Murder of The "BABY" in delmas

  • Seena - 2012-05-24 21:00

    there are 40million poverty stricken americans, over 150million americans can't afford health insurance and the big corporations are racking in money and corrupting politicians, what's the difference..bring on our traditional leaders i say

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:29

      The most corrupt people under NP were the chiefs.Most of them colluded with the oppressors. There are few exceptions e.g chief albert Luthuli. They are just a burden!

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:29

      The most corrupt people under NP were the chiefs.Most of them colluded with the oppressors. There are few exceptions e.g chief albert Luthuli. They are just a burden!

  • Stephen - 2012-05-24 21:02

    Stop this now, next you will want the Queen as head of state....

  • Phelamanga - 2012-05-24 21:03

    It's all right to have traditional law, but it must be within the parameters of the Constitution of the Republic. The Muslim Judicial Council and the Jewish Board of Deputies are, in a sense, tradition law carriers, but they operate within the Constitution. There is no reason for the traditional leaders of the various ethnic communities to modernise their practices in keeping with the 21st Century. However, this is a cleaver ploy to depopulate the "homelands" and send more desperate people into the cities while they control the traditional leaders through paying them for their loyalty. The Tripartite Alliance must be seeing the writing on the wall as the tide of opinion is rapidly turning against them and they are now resorting to desperate measures to maintain power. They have suddenly realised that the majority of South Africans are disapproving of their abuses and immorality. Best that in Mangaung people come to their senses and vote out Zuma, the SACP and COSATU and place them where they were in 2007 - on the fringes of political activity searching for meaning in their existence. They have become too arrogant and cocksure(No pun intended!).

      Whitemist Blackmist - 2012-05-24 21:19

      Phelamanga..eish!! I beg to differ, what I see is that we are creating a racial war by being stubborn against another person's culture, when they live under ours most of the time. our laws based on our culture are enshrined in the constitution based on western influences. Are we so damn righteous that we can never give, always taking..we are pushing people to the tripartite alliance..before this nonsense I was winning more people to the DA, but since the art and our attitudes, the same people are going back to the ANC. They see the National Party in us now.

  • Rowan Atterbury - 2012-05-24 21:49

    Come on blackmist, you are fooling yourself if you think that they ever saw the DA as anything other than the National Party in a different jacket. This country's political structures are grounded in race. If you are white you support a white run party and if you are black then a black one. If people are supporting the ANC it is not because they support their policies or initiatives but because they are black. The greater majority of ANC supporters wont even understand such policies or initiatives. The ANC is in no way a better choice as a political party, this is something anyone with half an education can tell you. They are the ruling party because there are more black than white voters. That is the only reason. What I am trying to say is that the DA is not loosing support among blacks...they never had any!

  • Johan Vermaak - 2012-05-24 21:55

    To all the white individuals, ignore this, as this is their culture and will therefore be the ones affected by it. Respect others cultures! The rest of South Africans (of all colours) will be judged according to South Africa's law!

  • bhulangwe - 2012-05-24 22:11

    I thought the article says this is only a draft of a bill. Therefore there are still a lots of debates and discussions to come b4 it even become Act. So your favorate DA pupets can relax since they still going to get a chance to put their noses. I thought I hated DA as a party but now I can even V*mit to any blue shirt that has DA on it!!!!

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:31

      Law for the rural citizens and another for the urban people? I am puzzled!

      Zeb - 2012-05-27 01:31

      Law for the rural citizens and another for the urban people? I am puzzled!

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-25 00:39

    Insulting tradition is by no way going to solve the problem, or the hold that traditional leaders have over the vast majority of the rural land and rural people within South Africa. What will help in solving this problem is the redistribution of this land to the people that live there. Tittle of all the plots should be given to the individual families and the land should be surveyed and registered under the respective family names. This is especially important to enrich and empower the many child headed families and the poorest of the poor. Having tittle over ones land and home gives that person opportunity to lease the land out to agriculturalist and or develop the land themselves. The traditional way keeps the people living of the land in abject poverty and only enriches the chieftains who ask their subjects to pay rent. The tribal system needs to be outdated by popular demand, it will never happen if people shut off dialog by shouting that Africa is backward, it is offensive and imeadiately builds a barrier to reason. Slowly grows a mustered seed, into a big tree. Water flows gently and washes away mountains. The world will change if you whisper into the wind. This is an opportunity for the DA, like never before, don't whimper on the side lines over this issue, push the agenda to it's extreme: not only debate the issue suggest the solution, modernize the thoughts of the poor. Why can't they own their own land, and who will help them obtain it without corruption?

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-25 00:54

      Slowly grows a mustard seed into a large tree.

  • anthro45 - 2012-05-25 07:27

    And Zuma just said that he wants intilectuals and academics back. Ha ha ha.

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