ANC heading for conflict with traditional leaders

2012-12-14 00:00

THE ANC’s policy proposals on social transformation could lead to a clash with traditional leaders.

The policy document to be discussed at the Mangaung conference contains proposals in conflict with customary practices.

The party’s commission for social transformation recommends an urgent audit of cultural practices that are in conflict with the Constitution, with specific reference to practices that undermine human rights and promote gender discrimination.

The commission said culture should never be favoured above constitutional rights, and patriarchal practices must be discouraged.

Thus, customs such as ukuthwala (the abduction for marriage of young girls) and ukungenwa (in which a widow can be married to her brother-in-law) should be outlawed because they oppress women and children.

The ANC is accused, in the light of these recommendations, of undermining the rights of above all, rural women and children.

An example is the Traditional Courts Bill, which has been described as “worse than apartheid laws” in its control of rural citizens, especially women.

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