Home Affairs officer Kelebogile Makgabo said the department’s consultations had shown that new legislation needed to be developed. Picture Mwangi Githahu /Cape Argus
Home Affairs officer Kelebogile Makgabo said the department’s consultations had shown that new legislation needed to be developed. Picture Mwangi Githahu /Cape Argus

'Polyandry is seriously a format to spread disease as marriage then becomes meaningless'

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Oct 12, 2021

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Cape Town - The leader of a public advocacy organisation promoting the biblical world view in South Africa has said a Department of Home Affairs Green Paper proposal to include various types of polygamous marriages, including polyandry, could lead to the spread of disease.

Christian View network head Philip Rosenthal caused a stir at a marriage consultation workshop on the department’s Marriage Green Paper in Cape Town when he said many of the proposals in the Green Paper, such as making it easier for people to apply to be marriage officers, undermine the institution of marriage.

“There can be unforeseen consequences to these changes, which are very radical. It is not desirable. Polyandry is seriously a format to spread disease as marriage then becomes meaningless. It becomes a network.

“Same-sex marriage is fiction. Christian people certainly don’t believe in it, and we don’t want any marriage of the sort for any person in Home Affairs or a religious person or marriage officer to have to carry it out.

“That is the aim of certain activist groups, and I don’t take these proposals in good faith as they have a radical gender ideology that is proposing to undermine and destroy marriage which has supported the family for as long as human cultures have existed.

Gender justice NPO Great People of South Africa activist Zintle Khobeni said: “In a patriarchal society, we must definitely expect that there will be an uproar over the issue of polyandry, but as an organisation, we absolutely accept it, and we will welcome it.”

Home Affairs Institutional Planning and Support DDG Thulani Mavuso said the department needed to adhere to the constitutional principles of equality, fairness and non-discrimination as it is the basis for all South Africa’s legislation.

Home Affairs officer Kelebogile Makgabo said the department’s consultations had shown that new legislation needed to be developed, and they had come up with three options.

“A Single Marriage Act with a unified set of requirements and consequences to all marriages, but which might not pass constitutional muster; an Omnibus Marriage Act containing different chapters for a diverse set of requirements such as civil unions, customary marriages and others not currently covered; and a Parallel Marriage Act that retained the status quo,” said Makgabo.

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Cape Argus

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