Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal/Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

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Integration of the Bride as a Requirement for a Valid Customary Marriage: Mkabe v Minister of Home Affairs[2016] ZAGPPHC 460

Pieter Bakker


Since the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1996 was promulgated in 15 November 2000 the courts are faced with the daunting task to determine whether a customary marriage is valid under the Act. The courts find it troublesome to determine exactly what the essential requirements under the living customary law are. One of the issues the courts have to deal with is the question whether the incorporation of a bride into her husband's family is an essential requirement for a valid customary marriage or can the families waive the requirement or condone non-compliance? The court in Mkabe v Minister of Home Affairs [2016] ZAGPPHC 460 found that the requirement can be waived or condoned. This case note criticises the Mkabe decision and illustrates why the incorporation of the bride is indeed an essential requirement for a valid customary marriage.

Keywords: Customary Law, Customary Marriage, Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, Mkabe v Minister of Home Affairs.

AJOL African Journals Online