This after a four-year battle to have it recognised ended in the Western Cape High Court when Judge Seraj Desai ordered that the president and the departments of Justice and Home Affairs enact legislation in line with his ruling.
The Divorce Act, used in civil marriages, has been ordered as interim relief for women married under Muslim rights until legislation is enacted to protect them.
“It is declared that a union, validly concluded as a marriage in terms of Sharia Law and which subsists at the time this order becomes operative may (even after its dissolution in terms of the Divorce Act 79 of 1979 and all the provisions of that Act shall be applicable. Provided that the provisions of section 7(3) shall apply to such a union regardless of when it was concluded,” the judgment stated.
In cases where the husband had more than one spouse the court ordered that the court shall take into consideration all relevant factors including contract or agreements and it must make equitable orders that it deems just.