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De Jure Law Journal

versión On-line ISSN 2225-7160
versión impresa ISSN 1466-3597


SIBISI, Siyabonga. The Supreme Court of Appeal and the handing over of the bride in customary marriages. De Jure (Pretoria) [online]. 2021, vol.54, n.1, pp.370-386. ISSN 2225-7160.

While there is unanimity that the mere payment of ilobolo (or part thereof) does not conclude a customary marriage, recent decisions of the SCA indirectly reverse this. Ilobolo must be accompanied by the integration of the bride into her new family in order to conclude a customary marriage. The integration comprises many events - depending on the ethnic group. These events include the handing over of the bride, ukumekeza (Swati). In Moropane v Southon, the SCA held that the handing over of the bride was an indispensable aspect of the integration of the bride. In Mbungela v Mkabi and Tsambo v Sengadi the SCA backtracked on its earlier decision, arguably without any clear principles. This article argues that these decisions of the SCA on customary marriages create uncertainty regarding the conclusion of customary marriages.

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