Parliamentary spats over polyandry disappoints Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi
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Cape Town - Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he has been left disappointed by spats among MPs and other stakeholders on the issue of polyandry after the introduction of the Green Paper.
Motsoaledi told Parliament on Wednesday that many people were raising their voices without reading the Green Paper.
He said polyandry is one of a number of issues raised by the paper regarding marriages in South Africa.
He said what the public needs to do is to engage the Green Paper and make their own submissions.
He said the green paper was not the final product of government work on marriages.
It was a consultative process, said Motsoaledi, during the budget vote of his department.
“Honourable House chair, the current Marriages Statute does not recognise certain customary marriages that are conducted in certain African communities, including in royal families. It is by these realities that I outlined above, which are by no means exhaustive, that the department was prompted into action to start discussions about marriage policy for the country,” said Motsoaledi.
“Our starting point was to convene ministerial dialogues throughout the country, starting in August 2019. I personally attended and listened to religious leaders of various denominations and communities to academics, gender activists and many more. We recorded everything that stakeholders told us in the ministerial dialogues. We put those records in the form of a Green Paper to enable society to start the dialogue even before we come to Parliament,” he said.
“Honourable chair, it was with a deep sense of disappointment that the envisaged national dialogues turned into a war of words and cynicism about one - and only one - of the issues that were raised in the ministerial dialogues, the issue of polyandry, which, like all others I mentioned above, was raised by some of the participants at the ministerial dialogues,” said Motsoaledi.
He said communities and other stakeholders would continue to engage on the green paper.
This was not the final product on the issue of marriages in South Africa.
He said communities would have to wait until the process has been completed.
The public has until the end of June to make comment on the green paper.