Redrafted traditional courts bill to be finalised 'soon'

2016-04-19 15:20
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - The redrafted traditional courts bill could be introduced in Parliament in June, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha said on Tuesday.

An earlier version of the bill was rejected after criticism from opposition parties and women’s rights groups, who said the bill trampled on the rights of women, especially in rural areas.

Deputy Minister John Jeffery said the new bill was a substantial redraft and tried to take into account the concerns and the issues raised previously.

"We have engaged with stakeholders, traditional leaders, civil society organisations and community-based organisations."

He said they had set up a reference group and had been going through the issues in the bill.

"We are hopeful that we can have greater consensus for the bill to be reintroduced."

The name of the bill could also be amended.

Masutha said it was important to finalise the bill, because of the critical role it played in the justice system. Customary or indigenous law was "embedded" in the Constitution, he said.

At present, all other courts found themselves adjudicating on issues arising out of customary law, he said.

The ministers also touched on the hate crimes bill, which would be finalised shortly and would be opened for public comment, said Jeffery.

Read more on:    john jeffery  |  michael masutha  |  parliament 2016

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