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Unformatted text preview: lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Introduction TO Legal Pluralism IN South Africa African Customary Law (University of South Africa) StuDocu is not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Introduction to Legal Pluralism in South Africa Fourth Edition Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Introduction to Legal Pluralism in South Africa Fourth Edition C Rautenbach Managing Editor BIur LLB LLM LLD Professor Faculty of Law North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) JC Bekker BA LLB LLD Emeritus Professor, Professor Extraordinary University of Pretoria Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Members of the LexisNexis Group worldwide South Africa DURBAN LexisNexis (Pty) Ltd 215 Peter Mokaba Road (North Ridge Road), Morningside, Durban, 4001 JOHANNESBURG Building No. 9, Harrowdene Office Park, 124 Western Service Road, Woodmead, 2191 CAPE TOWN Office Floor 2, North Lobby, Boulevard Place, Heron Close, Century City, 7441 Australia LexisNexis, CHATSWOOD, New South Wales Austria LexisNexis Verlag ARD Orac, VIENNA Benelux LexisNexis Benelux, AMSTERDAM Canada LexisNexis Canada, MARKHAM, Ontario China LexisNexis, BEIJING France LexisNexis, PARIS Germany LexisNexis Germany, MÜNSTER Hong Kong LexisNexis, HONG KONG India LexisNexis, NEW DELHI Italy Giuffrè Editore, MILAN Japan LexisNexis, TOKYO Korea LexisNexis, SEOUL Malaysia LexisNexis, KUALA LUMPUR New Zealand LexisNexis, WELLINGTON Poland LexisNexis Poland, WARSAW Singapore LexisNexis, SINGAPORE United Kingdom LexisNexis, LONDON USA LexisNexis, DAYTON, Ohio © 2014 ISBN 978 0 409 11833 9 E-Book ISBN 978 0 409 12221 3 Printed 2006 Reprinted 2007 Third Edition 2010 Copyright subsists in this work. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the publisher’s written permission. Any unauthorised reproduction of this work will constitute a copyright infringement and render the doer liable under both civil and criminal law. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published in this work is accurate, the authors, editors, publishers and printers take no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of the reliance upon the information contained therein. Editor: Elaine Smit Technical Editor: Nadia Khan Printed in South Africa by Interpak Books Pietermaritszburg Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Preface “Legal Pluralism within a South African context reflects the realities and complexities of a diverse society and the impact it has on a legal system” (Watney “Book Review” 2012 TSAR 202). This quote is a prudent description of South Africa’s mixed pluralistic legal system, which comprises of a number of distinct legal traditions; transplanted European laws (Roman-Dutch law and English law), as well as indigenous laws, collectively known as customary law. The South African Constitution also acknowledges the variety in the South African population and besides the recognition of customary law it provides for future recognition of legal systems founded on religion or custom. The family law systems of Hinduism, Judaism and Islam will in future increasingly enjoy attention from the legal profession. Although it is not possible to discuss all the principles of the most important religious systems in a book of this scope, preliminary attention is given to the general principles of the classical Hindu, Jewish and Islamic law. We have taken heed of the recommendations made by Watney in 2012 TSAR; consequently the first part of this book is dedicated to a discussion of the plurality of legal systems in South Africa. Chapter 1 deals with the phenomenon legal pluralism whilst chapters 2 and 3 cover the nature, sphere, application and ascertainment of customary law. Chapter 4 discusses the incidents of deep legal pluralism and more specifically the existence of Hindu, Jewish and Islamic law in South Africa. The second part of the book is aimed at covering the core contents of the African customary law as applied in South Africa. The third part of the book is aimed at the core contents of Hindu, Jewish and Islamic law, albeit only in an introductory fashion. The fourth edition was necessary because the law has developed considerably in several areas since the publication of the third edition in 2010. Barring a few exceptions, the research that preceded this book was concluded at the end of March 2014. Naturally it is impossible to complete a book of this nature without the assistance of others. We wish to convey our thanks to the following persons: Cecilia van der Walt and Tina Coetzer for their assistance with the language editing of some sections and the scrutiny of references that appear in the book, respectively. The authors are also thanked for the hard work they have done in writing or updating their contributions. A number of authors involved in the previous edition did not participate in the fourth edition and we are grateful to them for allowing us to use their original work of labour to continue on. The Editors April 2014 v Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Contributors to the Fourth Edition Bekker, JC BA LLB LLD Emeritus Professor, Professor Chapters 2, 7, 10 & 11 Extraordinary, Department of Private Law, University of Pretoria Bennett, TW BA LLB PhD Professor, Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town Chapter 3 Amien, W BA LLB LLM PhD (Ghent). Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town and Member of the Executive Body of the International Commission on Legal Pluralism Chapter 4 (par 4.4) & Chapter 14 (paras 14.1– 14.7; 14.9–14.10.5; 14.10.7–14.11) Jansen, R-M BIur LLB BSoc Sc (Hons) LLM Associate Professor and Vice Dean, Department of Private Law, University of the Free State Chapter 5 Moosa, N Chapter 4 BA LLB LLM LLD Professor, Faculty of (par 4.4.5) & Chapter 14 Law, University of the Western Cape and (par 14.10.6) former member of Project 59 (Islamic Marriages and Related Matters) of the South African Law Reform Commission Müller-Van der Westhuizen, C LLB LLM Lecturer, Department of Private Chapter 5 Law, Faculty of Law, University of the Free State Olivier, NJJ BA LLB BA (Hons) MA BPhil LLD LLD Professor and Director of SADC Centre for Land-Related, Regional and Development Law and Policy, University of Pretoria Pienaar, JM BIur, LLB LLM LLD Professor, Faculty of Chapter 6 Law, Stellenbosch University and Research Fellow of the South African Research Chair in Property Law Chapters 8 & 10 vii Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 viii Introduction to Legal Pluralism in South Africa Rautenbach, C BIur LLB LLM LLD Professor, Faculty of Law, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Ambassador Scientist of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation Williams, C LLB LLM Extraordinary Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, legal researcher and consultant Chapter 1; Chapter 4 (paras 4.1–4.4); Chapter 9, 11, 12 & 13 & Chapter 14 (paras 14.8, 14.11.9–10 & 14.11.11.) Chapters 8 & 10 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Contributors to the First, Second and Third Editions Badat, JGH Bekker, JC Bennett, TW Bernard, NM Bilchitz, D Boonzaaier, CC Dlamini, CRM Du Plessis, W Gokul, R Goolam, NMI Heyns, MF Jansen, R-M BA (Law) LLM MA (Gender Studies) Formerly Lecturer, School of Law, former University of Durban-Westville BA LLB LLD Emeritus Professor, Formerly Dean and Head of Department of Private Law, former Vista University BA LLB PhD Professor, Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town BA (Humanities) (Yeshiva University) Rabbi Emeritus of The Oxford Synagogue-Centre in Johannesburg BA (Hons) LLB PhD (Cambridge) Candidate Attorney at Ross Kriel Attorneys and part-time Lecturer, University of Witwatersrand BA BA (Hons) MA DPhil (Anthropology) Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Pretoria BProc LLM LLD LLD Rector of the University of Zululand BIur LLB LLM LLD Professor, Faculty of Law, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) BProc LLB LLM Formerly Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, Durban Institute of Technology; accredited mediator, councilor and arbitrator and member of the TOKISO panel BA LLB (UCT) MCL (International Islamic University Malaysia) Associate Professor, Department of Jurisprudence, University of South Africa BA BA (Hons) BD MA PhD Senior Lecturer, School of Philosophy, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) BIur LLB BSoc Sc (Hons) LLM Associate Professor, Department of Private Law, University of the Free State ix Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 x Introduction to Legal Pluralism in South Africa BIur LLB LLM LLD Associate Professor, School of Law, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Koyana, DS LLB LLM LLD LLD Formerly Dean and currently Professor, Faculty of Law, Walter Sisulu University Labuschagne, JMT MA DPhil LLD Professor in Private Law, University of Pretoria Maithufi, IP BIur LLM LLD Professor, Department of Private Law, University of Pretoria Mojela, K BIur LLB LLM Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Limpopo Moosa, N BA LLB LLM LLD Professor and Dean, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape Mqeke, RB LLB LLM LLD Professor, Faculty of Law, Rhodes University Pienaar, JM BIur, LLB, LLM, LLD Professor, Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University and Acting Judge of the Land Claims Court of South Africa Rautenbach, C BIur LLB LLM LLD Professor, Faculty of Law, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Alexander von Humboldt Fellow 2006 Van den Heever, JA BIur BA (Hons) LLD Emeritus Professor, Formerly Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Limpopo Van Niekerk, GJ BA LLM LLD Professor, Department of Jurisprudence, University of South Africa Venter, AM BIur LLB LLM Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg Knoetze, E Vorster, LP MA DPhil BIur LLB Professor in Indigenous Law, University of South Africa Whelpton, FP van R BA BIur LLB LLD Professor, Department of Constitutional, International and Indigenous Law, University of South Africa Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Abbreviations AHRLJ Am J Comp L Am J Juris CARSA CILSA ICLQ IJLSE Int’l J Children’s Rts J Afr L J Law & Soc HRCLJ LQR OUCLJ PER/PELJ S Afr J Philos SACJ SAJHR SALJ SAPR/PL Stell LR THRHR TRW TSAR African Human Rights Law Journal American Journal of Comparative Law American Journal of Jurisprudence Child Abuse Research in South Africa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa International and Comparative Law Quarterly International Journal of Liability and Scientific Enquiry International Journal of Children’s Rights Journal of African Law Journal of Law and Society Human Rights and Constitutional Law Journal of Southern Africa Law Quarterly Review Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal Potchefstroom Elektroniese Regstydskrif/Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal South African Journal of Philosophy South African Journal of Criminal Justice South African Journal on Human Rights South African Law Journal Suid-Afrikaanse Publiekreg/South African Public Law Stellenbosch Law Review Tydskrif vir Hedendaagse Romeins-Hollandse Reg Tydskrif vir Regswetenskap/Journal for Juridical Science Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg/Journal of South African Law xi Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Contents Preface ......................................................................................................................... Contributors to the Fourth Edition ................................................................................ Contributors to the First, Second and Third Editions ..................................................... Abbreviations............................................................................................................... Part 1 Legal Pluralism in South Africa Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 The Phenomenon of Legal Pluralism ....................................................... Nature and Sphere of African Customary Law ......................................... Application and Ascertainment of Customary Law .................................. Religious Legal Systems in South Africa (Non-State Law) ...................... Part 2 The Basics of African Customary Law Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Family Law ............................................................................................ Law of Property ...................................................................................... Law of Contract ...................................................................................... Law of Delict .......................................................................................... Law of Succession and Inheritance .......................................................... Traditional Leadership and Governance .................................................. Traditional Courts and other Dispute Resolution Mechanisms.................. Part 3 The Basics of Religious Legal Systems Page v vii ix xi 3 17 35 55 91 121 143 155 171 199 231 Chapter 12 Hindu Law.............................................................................................. Chapter 13 Jewish Law............................................................................................. Chapter 14 Islamic Law ............................................................................................ 257 311 349 Index ........................................................................................................................... Bibliography ............................................................................................................... 395 397 xiii Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 xiv Introduction to legal pluralism in South Africa Page Table of Cases............................................................................................................. Table of Statutes ......................................................................................................... 415 423 Index ........................................................................................................................... 435 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Part 1 Legal Pluralism in South Africa Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 1 The Phenomenon of Legal Pluralism 1.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1.2 Theoretical overview ............................................................................................ 1.2.1 Narrow interpretation: State-law pluralism (also called weak legal pluralism or official legal pluralism) ........................................................... 1.2.2 Broad interpretation: Deep legal pluralism (also called strong, unofficial or non-state legal pluralism) ....................................................................... 1.3 Historical emergence of state-law pluralism in South Africa .................................. 1.4 Historical emergence of deep legal pluralism in South Africa ................................ 1.4.1 Unofficial customary law ........................................................................... 1.4.2 Islamic law ............................................................................................... 1.4.3 Hindu law .................................................................................................. 1.4.4 Jewish law ................................................................................................ 1.4.5 People’s law .............................................................................................. 1.5 State-law pluralism in South Africa today ............................................................. 1.6 Deep legal pluralism in South Africa today ........................................................... 1.6.1 Unofficial customary law ........................................................................... 1.6.2 Islamic law ................................................................................................ 1.6.3 People’s law .............................................................................................. 1.7 Conclusion ........................................................................................................... 3 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) Page 5 6 6 7 7 9 9 10 11 11 12 12 14 14 14 15 16 lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Downloaded by Janke Van Wyk ([email protected]) lOMoARcPSD|4152251 Chapter 1: The Phenomenon of Legal Pluralism 5 1.1 Introduction South Africa has a multicultural society in which various legal systems are observed. Although legal effect is given to certain institutions of, for example, the Hindu and Muslim communities, customary law1 is the law that was originally applicable in this country and the only legal system other than the Western system 2 which is, albeit to a limited extent, officially recognised. Legal pluralism exists as a result of the prevailing cultural pluralism. But what exactly this legal pluralism encompasses is not so clear. Narrowly interpreted, it may be construed as the coexistence of various officially recognised state laws. The term “state laws”, in the South African context, refers to Roman-Dutch law as influenced by English law, adapted and developed through judicial decisions and legislation, as well as customary law incorporated into legislation or pronounced in judicial decisions. This narrow interpretation of legal pluralism, called “state-law pluralism” does not, however, adequately explain the social reality in South Africa. It does not make provision for the various laws which are unofficially observed. These are the laws of religious communities such as the Hindu, Muslim and Jewish communities, as well as the living customary law3 and people’s law.4 Living customary law is applied by unofficial customary institutions in the rural areas, such as the courts of the ward heads and sometimes by the state-recognised traditional authority courts.5 Through the years, the existence of unofficial laws was to a large extent ignored and only state-law pluralism was accommodated in the South African legal order. Today, however, the courts show greater tolerance towards unofficial laws.6 Moreover, the South African Law Reform Commission’s7 work on the harmonisation of customary law and the common law, as well as the recognition of Islamic personal laws, demonstrates the state’s commitment to accommodating unofficial laws. This chapter provides a brief overview of the concept of legal pluralism in a theoretical context with the emphasis on South Africa. ________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 “Customary law” is used as a generic term to denote the various laws of the indigenous people of South Africa. See ch 2 for a discussion of the meaning of “indigenous peoples”. The common law in South Africa is characterised as “Western law” as it shares a basic intellectual and jurisprudential tradition with other legal systems belonging to the Romano-Germanic and common-law legal families. Living customary law is the law that is actually applied by indigenous people. This law often conflicts...
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