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CAPE TOWN - The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has welcomed the decision by the Western Cape High Court which ordered the State to implement legislation to recognise Muslim marriages and provide legal protection to the women and their children upon the dissolution of marriages.

The judgment was handed down by Judge Siraj Desai on Friday morning and declared that the president of the country and other respondents had failed in their constitutional obligation to have legislation enacted that governs Muslim marriages and its consequences within the South African context.

“This is a milestone for Muslims as a minority in South Africa,” said MJC deputy president Shaykh Riad Fataar.

“The significance of this judgement is that the president of the country has now been tasked to enforce the legislation. We would like to remind the President that he can make his mark in history by recognising the Muslim community in their marriages which is long overdue,” he said.

The MJC, one of the founding members of the United Ulema Council of South Africa (UUCSA), lent its full support and resources for the implementation the Muslim Marriage Bill, which would need to be enacted within 24 months, as per the judgement.

“We await the government to fulfil their constitutional obligation and facilitate the process to enact the legislation as soon as possible as per the court order,” Shaykh Fataar added.

African News Agency (ANA)