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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reforming the customary law of succession
Author:Mbatha, LikhaphaISNI
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:customary law
family law
law of inheritance
Cultural Roles
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Abstract:The codified customary law of succession in South Africa no longer serves the original purpose underlying this system. In particular, the rule that control of family property should be entrusted to a male heir with a corresponding obligation to care for the deceased's dependants has been distorted by changing socioeconomic conditions. The living customary law has already begun to change in order to allocate family property more equitably, and no longer bars women from controlling marital property after the death of their husbands. Recent South African case law, however, has generally not taken these developments into account, and in so doing has failed to give effect to the guarantee of equality in the 1996 Constitution. This article accordingly makes several proposals for the reform of customary law that would both close the gap between the codified and the living system and do justice to women's expectations under the Bill of Rights. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]