The practice of ukuthwala continues, despite South Africa’s progressive constitution, where underage children and vulnerable girls are often abducted and forced into marriage.
The Draft Prohibition of Forced Marriages and Child Marriages Bill , which is awaiting public comment, may criminalise the act which some have argued is a cultural norm.
Legal expert Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo on Tuesday explained that practice has deviated drastically from what it was in the past.
Listen to the full conversation, with Sumitra Nydoo standing in, on the Midday Report:
We are totally conscious of sometimes legislating against what people perceive to be a culture.— Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo, legal expert
In this case there is consensus that this is a totally distorted and perverted practice based on something which has changed from what it previously was.— Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo, legal expert
The bill targets the human rights violations that have crept into this unacceptable distortion.— Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo, legal expert