The Traditional Courts Bill: A silent coup?

  • Nomboniso Gasa
Keywords: Traditional Courts Bill, customary law


This article calls into question the representation of traditional governance and customary law that underpins the Traditional Courts Bill (B15-2008)(TCB). It argues that the Bill presents a flawed view of traditional custom and practice by, amongst other things, failing to recognise the changing nature of custom and cultural practice. In so doing the Bill provides a legal basis upon which prejudice and discriminatory practices may be entrenched. The article argues that African cultures have always valued individual rights and choices, and affirmed these as integral to each individual being part of a community. This is in no way represented in the Bill. The author argues that the TCB has not only disregarded five years of work of the SALRC, funded by tax-payers, but also proposes a system that contradicts the Constitution.

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