Fedusa opposes traditional courts bill

2012-09-19 14:30

Cape Town - The draft Traditional Courts Bill, as it stands, is unconstitutional, Fedusa said on Wednesday.

In a presentation to Parliament's security and constitutional development select committee, Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) vice president for gender, Martle Keyter, said the bill upheld an unjust patriarchal system which would perpetuate current systems of oppression and discrimination against women.

The committee is currently holding public hearings on the draft legislation.

Keyter said the most distressing aspect was the denial of choice for people living within the boundaries of the traditional courts.
According to the bill, they were not permitted to opt out of the jurisdiction of a traditional court.

Free and forced labour

Of specific concern to Fedusa was the assumption in the bill that presiding officers could order free and forced labour as a consequence for what might be considered unacceptable behaviour in the eyes of the traditional courts or leaders.

"This goes against the core mandate of the federation to ensure decent work for all South Africans," she said.

Not only was free and forced labour against the ideals of decent work, but no traditional leader should be given the right to order a punishment that threatened the dignity and well-being of an individual, and therefore imposed on their constitutional rights.

Furthermore, the bill allowed for further entrenchment of the gender inequalities in certain South African communities.

"In South Africa, all legislation should seek to prioritise gender and mainstream it within the system so as to rectify the entrenched inequalities in our society.

"The [bill] should serve a purpose to eradicate previous patriarchal systems that entrenched the mistreatment of women, and provide alternatives that will enable women to have greater access to justice and equal rights."

However, the bill did not achieve this at all. Not least in its assignment of power to only one senior leader, which was usually a male traditional leader, Keyter said.

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-09-19 16:13

    Of course it's unconstitutional, and stupid, but what can we expect from a regime that is socialistic/nationalist/communistic in makeup and capitalistic in its approach, amongst its leaders? It's a farce and not only encourages sexism and exploitation but it also makes the entire country look like a circus with confusion at every level, with the ringmaster unable to read a script, never mind put a meaningful statement together. Sheesh, wonder how much this report cost me.

      whmarais - 2012-09-20 17:13

      You hit the nail on the head. Bravo!

  • whmarais - 2012-09-20 17:02

    Firstly, the currently laws concocted by the ANC are not always in line with the constitution. (That is to be expected from a banana republic ruled over by a despot claiming to be democratically elected). The current court system (however corrupt and marred by police bungling) is at least educated to some degree (lawyers and magistrates) and justice has a better chance of succeeding (if your wallet is big enough). With a traditional court the accusations are leveled by superstitious uneducated halfwits and a shriveled old shangoma or headman with no brains calls down the punishment. The chances of true justice emerging from such a system is very improbable and very unconstitutional; denial of a fair and just trial and unjust sentencing is a violation of human rights. The SA government is the most hypocritical in the world. Spewing equal rights, empty promises and freedom from one side of the mouth; and then turning to cough while the truth comes out. There is no justice, no free homes, no gravy train for all (black elite only), no magical money trees and no service or safety from crime. There is no order, only the freedom to vote and have your vote counts shuffled around by the ANC. What is the good in having freedom to vote and a piece of paper saying that you have rights; when you live in poverty or constant debt with increasing living cost and a shrinking salary. With more and more of the tax resources feeding fat black elite cats. I would rather be rich and oppressed.

      whmarais - 2012-09-20 17:10

      At least in the old regime most people could sate their hunger and live with police protection, in rougher areas even with the protection of soldiers. The only danger and crime came from the ANC's so called freedom fighters. Meanwhile in the "new south africa"....Justice? Freedom? The land of milk and honey? Crime decreasing? Free homes? BMWs for everyone? HA HA HA HA And the funiest thing is that the majority of our intellectually challenged population keeps voting for their new oppressors HA HA HA (who doom them to eternal poverty and crime by using apartheid horror stories and blaming apartheid for everything). Like Zuma did with service delivery and the textbook scandal (some black dude throws books away and it's apartheid's fault?) I have no sympathy for anyone's complaints with the new government, they brought it upon themselves. Like I keep telling Zimbabweans "You voted for Mugabe and Zanu-PF; go ask them for work". And my personal favourite "You voted for the ANC, ask Zuma or Malema for a job." so in conclusion HA HA HA You shot yourself in the foot.

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