There has been much debate around the traditional courts bill for the best parts of 2012. In 2013, the bill will circulate via the provinces to gauge whether provinces accept or reject the bill. In recent debates, the bill has been heavily criticised for excluding women in traditional courts and was rejected outrightly by the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Diabilities. How potent is the ministry’s stance on the bill?
Since this bill relates to the primary objectives of this blog(to debate traditioonal issues of governance), we have decided to repost an article titled “Traditional Institutions, Leadership, marginalisation and the shame of the South African Constitution” in order to bring forth our argument for the passing of the bill. The reader will note that amongst those who support the bill are traditional leaders and traditional communities. In this article we highlight the plight of Traditional Leaders, Institutions and Cultural Communities in a country where it is claimed that democracy is fledging an all is well. Reading the article will indicate to the reader there are numerous challenges faced by Traditional leaders, their Institutions and Communities and hence our conviction that, if applied correcty, the draft bill will see to it that these and more challenges are addressed.
The article can be downloaded from here: http://wp.me/a2ne71-1w
In addition, we have included some review of the bill by journalist Siyabonga Mkhwanazi for reference and futher debate below:
Siyabonga Mkhwanazi @ The New Age; http://thenewage.co.za/90037-1007-53-Traditional_Courts_Bill_to_via_provinces
The contentious Traditional Courts Bill faces the test of whether it has the support of provinces or not.
Chairperson of the Select Committee on Security and Constitutional Development in Parliament, Tjetha Mofokeng, on Tuesday said provinces had to decide whether they backed or rejected the Bill.
Following the public hearings on the draft law the committee had sent the report to all the nine provinces to determine whether they supported the Traditional Courts Bill or not, Mofokeng said.
“They (provincial legislatures) must give us a mandate on whether they support or reject the bill. Based on the majority of the provinces (who support one position) the committee will take a decision,” he said.
“We don’t want to pre-empt what the provinces will say, but we are aware that some people say it (the Bill) must be scrapped (while) some people say it must be retained,” he said.
The committee will take a decision on the way forward depending on what the provincial legislatures want.
The National Council of Provinces held public hearings on the Bill late last year where various stakeholders criticised it.
However, the Bill received support from traditional leaders.
Even the Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana had called for the government to scrap the Bill.
During the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders last month President Jacob Zuma urged all South Africans to participate in the discussions on the draft law.
The Bill has been criticised for being oppressive against women and taking the country back to apartheid days.
However, Zuma had said that it would be important for all stakeholders to take part in discussions on the Bill.
The Bill has been called unconstitutional, criticised for excluding the participation of women in traditional courts and for giving traditional leaders more powers.
The Bill offered the prospect of access to justice to 18 million of the citizens who reside within the ambit of the traditional system.
Whats your take on the bill?