Advertisement

Abstract

This chapter on South Africa critically analyses the evolution of the concept of the best interests of the child, and specifically how it pertains to the fields of care (custody), contact (access), guardianship and maintenance (support), which are all part of parents’ responsibilities and rights, and impact on the legal position of Muslim children. This chapter compares and contrasts Muslim Personal Law (MPL) and practices pertaining to children with those of South African law in order to ascertain whether they comply with, conflict with or compromise the ‘best interests’ concept paramount in, and permeating, South African law in general and international and regional instruments. In doing so, the chapter reviews the position of Muslim children and the milestones in child law in South Africa prior to and since democracy with a focus on three pieces of legislation since democracy: the Constitution (1996), the Children’s Act (2005) and the Muslim Marriages Bill (MMB) (2010).

Keywords

Parental responsibilities and rights Care (custody) Contact (access) Guardianship Maintenance (support) Best interests of the child Muslim children South Africa Muslim Personal Law 

References

  1. Bernardo C (2015) Womens’ rights body compared to pet cat, IOL News, 2 December 2015. www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/womens-rights-body-compared-to-pet-cat-1954233#.Vl-PRKmukdQ. Accessed 27 Feb 2016
  2. Boezaart T (2010) Law of Persons, 5th edn. Juta, Cape TownGoogle Scholar
  3. Boezaart T (2014) The Position of Minor and Dependent Children of Divorcing and Divorced Spouses or Civil Union Partners. In: Heaton J (ed) The Law of Divorce and Dissolution of Life Partnerships in South Africa. Juta, Cape Town, pp 171–227Google Scholar
  4. Bosman-Sadie H, Corrie L (2013) A Practical Approach to the Children’s Act, 2nd edn. LexisNexis, DurbanGoogle Scholar
  5. Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (2015) The Office of the Family Advocate. www.justice.gov.za/FMAdv/f_main.htm. Accessed 28 Feb 2015
  6. Hall K et al (2014) Demography of South Africa’s Children. In: Mathews S et al (eds) South African Child Gauge 2014, part 3: Children Count - The Numbers, Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, pp 90–93. www.ci.org.za/depts/ci/pubs/pdf/general/gauge2014/ChildGauge2014.pdf. Accessed 25 Feb 2015
  7. Heaton J (2009) An individualised, contextualised and child-centred determination of the child’s best interests, and the implications of such an approach in the South African context. Journal for Juridical Science 34(2):1–18Google Scholar
  8. Isaacs R (2015) MMB laws contradict Shari’ah: attorney. VOC News, VOCFM, 6 March 2015. www.vocfm.co.za/mmb-laws-contradict-shariah-attorney. Accessed 6 March 2015
  9. Jamieson L et al (2014) Legislative Developments 2013/2014. In: Mathews S et al (eds) South African Child Gauge 2014, part 1: Children and Law Reform, Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, pp 13–20. www.ci.org.za/depts/ci/pubs/pdf/general/gauge2014/ChildGauge2014.pdf. Accessed 25 Feb 2015
  10. Louw A (2010) The constitutionality of a biological father’s recognition as a parent. Potchefstroom Electron Law J (PER/PELJ) 13(3):156–206Google Scholar
  11. Moosa N (1998a) Religious Laws Affecting Children: Muslim Law. In: South African Law Commission, Issue Paper 13, Project 110: The Review of the Child Care Act, First Issue Paper, 18 April 1998, pp 123–132. www.justice.gov.za/salrc/ipapers/ip13_prj110_1998.pdf. Accessed 25 Feb 2015
  12. Moosa N (1998b) Muslim Personal Laws Affecting Children: Diversity, Practice and Implications for a New Children’s Code for South Africa. S Afr Law J 115(3):479–492Google Scholar
  13. Moosa N (2009) Polygynous Muslim Marriages in South Africa: Their Potential Impact on the Incidence of HIV/AIDS. Potchefstroom Electron Law J (PER/PELJ) 12(3):65–95Google Scholar
  14. Moosa N (2011) Unveiling the Mind: The Legal Position of Women in Islam - A South African Context, 2nd edn. Juta, Cape TownGoogle Scholar
  15. Moosa N (2014) The Dissolution of a Muslim Marriage by Divorce. In: Heaton J (ed) The Law of Divorce and Dissolution of Life Partnerships in South Africa. Juta, Cape Town, pp 281–354Google Scholar
  16. Nasir JJ (2002) The Islamic Law of Personal Status, vol XXIII. Arab and Islamic Laws Series, 3rd edn. Kluwer Law International, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  17. Schäfer L (2011) Child Law in South Africa - Domestic and International Perspectives. LexisNexis, DurbanGoogle Scholar
  18. van Schalkwyk N (2009) Maintenance for Children. In: Boezaart T (ed) Child Law in South Africa. Juta, Cape Town, pp 38–61Google Scholar
  19. Skelton A (2013) Children. In: Currie I, De Waal J (eds) The Bill of Rights Handbook, 6th edn. Juta, Cape Town, pp 598–623Google Scholar
  20. Sosibo K (2015) One man fights for all fathers. Mail & Guardian 31(22):16 (29 May 2015)Google Scholar
  21. South African Law Reform Commission (2003) Project 59: Islamic Marriages and Related Matters, Report, July 2003. www.justice.gov.za/salrc/reports/r_prj59_2003jul.pdf. Accessed 9 Feb 2015
  22. Statistics South Africa (2004) Census 2001: Primary tables South Africa Census ’96 and 2001 compared, Report No. 03-02-04, statssa 2001, p 25. www.statssa.gov.za/census01/html/RSAPrimary.pdf. Accessed 9 Feb 2015
  23. Statistics South Africa (2012) Statistical release (Revised) P0301.4 2011, statssa 2012. www.statssa.gov.za/Publications/P03014/P030142011.pdf. Accessed 9 Feb 2015
  24. Vahed MA (1999) Should the question: “What is in a child’s best interests?” be judged according to the child’s own cultural and religious perspectives? The case of the Muslim child. Comp Int Law J S Afr (CILSA) 32:976–990Google Scholar
  25. van der Walt G (2009) Children’s rights. In: Govindjee A et al (eds) Introduction to Human Rights Law. LexisNexis, Durban, pp 231–238Google Scholar

Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations