Traditional courts will be fair - Baloyi

2012-12-04 13:03

Johannesburg - Traditional institutions have a role to play in a democracy, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi said on Tuesday.

"There is a space [for them] to play their role," he said at a New Age breakfast meeting in Fourways, in northern Johannesburg.

He dismissed concerns that the traditional courts bill would not be fair.

"Government cannot pass a law that suppresses other members of society. People should not fear."

He said those who opted to be exempted from traditional courts were isolating themselves from their communities.

Baloyi said he had been at traditional court proceedings and had not witnessed a situation where people had been discriminated against, based on whether they were men or women.

The bill seeks to affirm the values of the traditional justice system, based on restorative justice and reconciliation, and to align them with the Constitution.

In terms of the bill, the justice minister may, in the prescribed manner, after consultation with the premier of the province in question, designate a senior traditional leader as the presiding officer of a traditional court.

A traditional court may hear and determine civil disputes arising out of customary law.

  • bob.small.7547 - 2012-12-04 13:21

    Bush justice in disguise...!

      danie.strydom.7 - 2012-12-04 13:31

      Sure, we have seen traditional justice .... called the necklace is it?

      peter.ndamase - 2012-12-04 13:42

      And yet the Women's league endorsed Zuma again....

      kalabafazi - 2012-12-04 13:43

      This is how they legalise kangaroo courts. We have all seen the "african" way of dealing with "african" problems. It sure aint pretty.

      fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-12-04 14:37

      Would love to see if the Hnr Baloyi will sit for trail in such a court!

  • - 2012-12-04 13:22

    Not good IMO. This smells simialr to Shiria. One law for all.

      ThinkingChick - 2012-12-04 13:38

      My thoughts exactly. This is absurd.

      piet.motsoeneng - 2012-12-04 14:16

      The justice system is comlpex by its nature and it surely doesnt need more complications. This will simply not work, we will see all cases going for appeal because of improper application of the law. So, how is that going go ease the backlog experienced by courts at the moment?

      jack.trend.3 - 2012-12-04 14:26

      What if I am driving along in the rural outback and I moer into a cow. Would I be dragged into their traditional courts and made to pay for the cow and take 10 lashings, when the proper law says the cow shouldn't have been there?

      fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-12-04 14:39

      This is a Banana Republic stink.

  • carla.vittori3 - 2012-12-04 13:22

    I would like to see some transcripts from these courts. Will they also be required to give their decisions in writing and with a well reasoned argument? I wonder what representation of parties would be like? Can women approach the courts at all?

      kalabafazi - 2012-12-04 13:44

      The "judge" will most likely be a community elder with about as much knowledge of law as Malema has of woodwork.

  • jman.maluleke - 2012-12-04 13:24

    People should be allowed to take the matter for appeal if they are not happy with the decision of the Chief. The hearing must be recorded too,

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-12-04 13:57

      does the word "appeal" actually even exists in these traditional court proceedings???

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-12-04 13:57

      Traditionally - do they or have they EVER used a recording device? like paper?

      omge.klits - 2012-12-04 15:08

      @jman - and if you refuse to submit yourself to tribal justice ? - how easy is it to throw you of your land or limit access to commonage ? - everyone knows your occupancy is only gauranteed by the health of your social relations with the rest of the community.

      jman.maluleke - 2012-12-04 15:36

      @Anikenvader, ils obvious that you cannot appel to the same Court but to the Magistrate Court having jurisdiction to entertain the matter. The Bill can include the issue of recording device on it before it is pass into law. The traditional Courts can easily adopt the use of recording devices for the purpose of possible appeal. It is a proposal bra,

  • mario.dippenaar - 2012-12-04 13:26

    So that customary law where you can buy a nine year old for a couple heads of cattle can be enforced. Also, can I as a lily white boy also chose trail by combat? Like in Game of Thrones?

  • heinrich.etsebeth - 2012-12-04 13:27

    I do not acknowledge the authority of these courts !!!

  • richard.zanner - 2012-12-04 13:28

    How can a country function with different legal systems within it's border. Surely all people should be subject to the same system. What happens when customary law and our legal system is in conflict with each other. Which one prevails and upon whom does it apply. One of the essential elements of a fair legal system is that it must be accessible to all and be known to all. What happens if I end up in a dispute with a person and he pleads his custom and I plead the law. This is another one of those half baked ideas. It is also against the principle of our law that one person can be the prosecutor, judge and executioner all in one with no right of appeal. How can businesses function if the law becomes an uncertain entity as the same rules do not apply to all.

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-12-04 13:30

    Baloyi you talking through your backside - traditional leaders and their laws belong in the past with the dinosaurs. It is patriarchal in nature and if this teenager that was rescued from an arranged marriage came before this court, she would be sent packing back to her 40-something pedophile husband...because it is "our tradition". And it what universe will that be fair!!! This court better act within in our constitution otherwise it's decisions is illegal!!! And must only apply to those that recognise their authority - and that includes both parties!!

      aniken.vader.31 - 2012-12-04 14:02

      people, people - PLEASE MAN! leave the dinosaurs alone - they were super-advanced in their environmental circumstances and the ONLY thing that they lacked was understanding of an asteroid! These bafoons don't belong even in THAT category!

  • brad.mcmahon.58 - 2012-12-04 13:31

    Interesting. Yet this morning there was an article where Police had to step in because the "traditional" agreed to "sell" a 14 yr girl to a 40 yr old man in place of her sister. Equality? Fair? Just?

  • mmoledis - 2012-12-04 13:32

    I think that is good as it is the duties of traditional leaders and their teams, but they should be taught how to do it in order not to discriminate against one another irespective of colour,race,gender and social affiliations.Those who presides there should at least be taught law of this country especially chapter two bill of rights, and some criminal procedure acts to enable those who preside to be capable of doing that prperly, that will help this countries courts not to preside or waste most of time presiding over matters that chiefs or dikgosi could have presided on at their villages or ereas and courts only hear or attend matters that are crucial like rape,theft,murder and others that are beyond the scope of traditional courts to preside on.As such there will be no back logs of cases at courts.But those who are not satisfied with the out comes of the traditional court must be given a chance to appeal them at court of law, and during traditional courts legal representatives should be allowed in order to get cases there be fairly heared or presided.

      Jeremy - 2012-12-04 13:42

      Mmoledis, I agree with you. If we have to have "traditional courts," some formal legal training is an absolute must. As is the right to appeal to a higher court. Effectively these courts must function as local magistrates courts.....

      piet.motsoeneng - 2012-12-04 14:09

      For one to preside over any case, one has to be fully qualified in order to apply the law properly. What you are suggesting here is a shortcut to legal qualification and I promise you its nor going to work. I can already see almost all cases reffered to magistrate or high courts which in essence does not change anything. I dont see how government is boing too make this work. If anything they are just making the justice system that is already having problems even more complex to manage. I dont see this working, at all.

      bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-12-04 14:18

      If you want to be a judge or lawyer or prosecutor you must go to school/varsity. You can not inherit education and it does not go according to blood lines

      john.silver.3572846 - 2012-12-04 14:21

      Thew only qualification required is BIRTHRIGHT. it is a disgrace that we are pressing back towards a feudal system in a country held up as a leading constitutional democracy.

  • WilsoWill - 2012-12-04 13:35

    Insane in the membrane... can anyone convince them to stop? hopefully the concourt!

  • rob.gunning.1 - 2012-12-04 13:37

    "Government cannot pass a law that suppresses other members of society".... hmmmmmmm, really? Apartheid, BEE, AA... the list goes on... Soooo, looks like they can

  • Gill McCain - 2012-12-04 13:41

    It's time to relegate this archaic, paternalistic, sexist practice to history. Rural communities will never develop while they live under this system. If this is representative of African Culture then that culture is a joke, time to join the 21st century

  • hezekiel.lefopane - 2012-12-04 13:48

    Good one long as there is a provision for review by the mag court of the decision by chiefs...critics will just criticise we know that some of the races don't hv a culture, they will haul as always

      bheki.dingiswayo - 2012-12-04 14:24

      If you go against a king, chief verdict usually the whole family is chased away from that land which belong to that king/chief. If you win the case in the normal court you get killed. I expect comments from people who has been exposed to the system that is now proposed. It does not consider fact but it depends who is favoured by the ibandla (I do not have an English name)

      tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-12-04 20:18

      hezekiel when you say some races dont have a culture i presume you refer to my race! I will concede that we dont have a culture but on the other hand we also dont have 14 year old girls fleeing for their lives because they are forced to marry old men. we also do not take young men to the bush and cut of their foreskins and let them die.

  • gregory.hill.984 - 2012-12-04 13:48

    A separate law for all south Africans, lol what a joke, white black coloured or whatever, if you south African, abode by south African law. A white person would be arrested for having more than 1 wife, our government is proud our president can fill a large bus with his wives and off spring. 1 nation 1 set of rules for the nation

  • caine.abel.75 - 2012-12-04 13:49

    No middel man needed let the justice system do its work directly, why go through another opressive primitive sytem???

  • Eterni80 - 2012-12-04 13:49

    we have a 'traditional' political party running SA (into the ground) so why not traditional courts - maybe they'll hang a few rapists..

  • denise.wilshire - 2012-12-04 13:52

    And so we go back to the bush. Already we have Zuma in the pocket of King Goodwill. It has not arisen yet, but if the Information Bill is passed, we won't be able to know just how much the ANC pays this King to support his lavish lifestyle. Now with this proposed legal change we will now have every chief in the land making separate rules and regulations according to their customs. Of course they will need some sort of financial support for this. Then comes the chaos. The criminals of this land, cannot adhere to one legal system, how chaotic will the new proposition be? Get real Baloyi, who is going to see that there is not a fresh outbreak of "witch burning"? Our police system is already compromised as most officers do not understand the current letter of the law. We are going to hell in a hand basket each day!

  • jackey.moss - 2012-12-04 13:59

    "Government cannot pass a law that suppresses other members of society. People should not fear." E-Toll comes to mind...

      Phelamanga - 2012-12-04 14:42

      And Affirmative Action, Employment Equity, BEE and so on. These are all discriminatory and exclusionary. Government must do a census on the number of South Africans living and working outside the country due to these laws. They might be surprised, but they probably know as they refuse to allow these South Africans to vote in elections, another suppression of South Africans' right to elect a government of their choice. The ANC knows that the vast majority of these expatriates would vote for the DA, which would impact on their slight majority in parliament.

  • mart.botha - 2012-12-04 14:02

    In the absence of legal qualificiations I would expect that the senior traditional healer who will act as a presiding officer of the court be at least... 110 - 119 - Superior intelligence.... on the IQ scale, have a clear and incident free credit and criminal track record and lastly that he not serve in a traditional court in his home district to try and guarantee impartiality. Just my thoughts.

  • Yello Kiya Kamy - 2012-12-04 14:05

    Baloy is living in Cockoo Land. im serving in one of the most opressive Traditional system, where accused are just sentence without any evidence being led i.e when you impregnate a girl, there is no discussion, you just sentenced

  • mfumbayelangabi.silwane - 2012-12-04 14:08

    Minister Baloyi I am in full agreement with you,traditional courts are good for us because I hate it if I have to be jugded according to the western values which have no baring in my upbringing,culture,values,custorms and my way of life in general.Our kind of justice allows for,reconciliation ,and does not in essence create enemity. Thank you Minister we will support you all the way.

      gregory.hill.984 - 2012-12-04 14:29

      Allows for reconciliation???? I invite you to go study your history books, traditional law is the most brutal law about. Stop talking so bad about how the west treats you, your culture you should still be living in a mud hut tending your kings herds, and not sleeping in a bed, driving a car, or even using electricity. I love how you guys want all the benefits of the west but then insult the west with every breath. Just makes me smile

  • aniken.vader.31 - 2012-12-04 14:08

    "Government cannot pass a law that suppresses other members of society. People should not fear." Actually it seems that the gov can do whatever they feel like - PEOPLE SHOULD FEAR ANYTHING COMING OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS!!!

  • jairaj.sureschandra - 2012-12-04 14:30

    In my view, traditional courts will only be effective if it is implemented together with a traditional police force, a traditional prosecutorial service, a traditional judicial system as well as written traditional law etc. But I presume that, with the westernisation of the traditional practitioners, the practicing of traditional law will inevitably become traditional ......... in favour of a more appealing western practice ......

  • Phelamanga - 2012-12-04 14:35

    This is politicking by Zuma to try to appease the chiefs. Sooner or later these traditional leaders will also be part of the Tripartite Alliance. However, what do the traditional laws say about adultery,rape and having children out of wedlock? Or are the traditional laws going to be bent to suit our Glorious Leader Comrade?

  • darryl.scott.77770 - 2012-12-04 14:38

    Firstly - WTF is a "Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister" who gets paid a fortune out of Tax money to do what?

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-12-04 14:59

    Baloyi, They are in DIRECT CONTRADICTION to Democratic principles and dispensation, and even though you use it as an admission that you have failed the bulk of our citizens in not educating them to the full processes and strengths of ALL Democracy has to offer them it still is no reason to pay traditional leaders such huge amounts of money each month as they ARE THE OPPOSITE TO DEMOCRACY an INSULT to Democracy for want of better An ASSAULT against Democracy to be precise.

      Thabo Dijoe - 2012-12-04 15:11

      Are you expecting anything positive from Baloyi, he's one of those given ministerial positions out of no merit

  • hendrik.groenewald.52 - 2012-12-04 15:20

    Oh South Africa, one step forward, two steps back. African woman are going to be on the receiving end of these customary laws.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-12-04 15:41

    Baloyi,please man, we are not all fools.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-12-04 15:51

    Kan ons Boere mense ook nou ons eie howe kry en net volgens algemene reg en deur ons eie mense verhoor word? Indien nie, is ons regte minder werd as die vir wie nou uitsonderings gemaak word?

      piet.motsoeneng - 2012-12-04 16:47

      Thats the problem with this idea. SA is a very diverse country, we just cant have courts of this nature because it will mean everybody's tradition has will have to be accommodated which doesn't make sense to me. Rather make the current justice sytem more effective.

  • mpho.ramosili - 2012-12-04 15:56

    this is 2012!

  • thabo.mapaila.5 - 2012-12-04 16:50

    What is wrong with this government? Who is advising ds guys? We don't need ds nonsense.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-12-04 17:39

    As a country we are regressing back to the days when bush people ruled their own communities, now they are running a country. Why build RDP houses mud huts will do. This is why other african countries are now climbing out of their dark hole and we are taking their place.

  • JohnDough - 2012-12-04 18:23

    So...some goat herder sitting undr a tree is now Judge, prosecuter, jury and hangman? I just give up.

  • magogodale.mulalo1 - 2012-12-05 14:52

    Baloyi he 's corect sme of traditional laws compromise the socity 's rights.... Mostly women

  • eduard.louw - 2012-12-10 08:09

    Remove the traditional leaders and you remove the last pillars of apartheid. Everyone should be equal before the law.

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