Our Comment to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development on the “Superior Courts Bill”

1 June 2010/ 17 JAMADI THANI 1431.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

THE HONOURABLE MR J.T. RADEBE MP.  PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA.

FOR ATTENTION: MR J.A. DE LANGE

jdelange@justice.gov.za copy: jskosana@justice.gov.za; drudman@justice.co.za

COMMENT: SUPERIOR COURTS BILL 2010 (Deadline 30 June 2010)

The  Al JAMA-AH  Political Party takes this opportunity to congratulate you and wish you strength when you will soon introduce the “Superior Courts Bill” in the General Assembly of the Parliament of South Africa. We would like to take up your invitation to comment on the Bill. We  now bring to your attention our concern that no provision is made to include a SPECIALIST COURT to deal with justiciable matters relating to Muslim Personal Law (MPL) which will also give legal consequences to marriages conducted according to the tenets of the Muslim religion. Reference to such a need is made in the draft “Muslim Marriages  Bill (MMB)”  Chapter 5 which currently awaits cabinet approval. Your desire to present to Parliament an all exclusive Bill is well known and we ask you to correct this oversight.

The father of Islam  in South Africa Sheikh Yusuf  1626-1699 (ORDER OF THE COMPANIONS OF OR TAMBO IN GOLD) left a legacy over 300 years ago which we believe will be crowned by the granting of legal consequences for our marriages and other matters relating to Muslim Personal Law. This was also the dying wish to me  of former Minister of Justice The Honourable Dullah Omar – a wish which his comrade and friend our beloved former President  Nelson Mandela wanted to realize together in  their lifetime but prevented from achieving because of constitutional constraints. It is only now that the best legal minds in the country  has produced a Bill that has produced this landmark legislation that the wishes of Sheikh Yusuf, Dullah Omar and Nelson Mandela is within our reach. A paper by Sheikh  Dr. AK Tofffar captures these aspirations and challenges. The AL JAMA-AH Political Party call on you  Mr J.T. Radebe to take the brave step at this final stage perhaps against all precedent to make provision for a

MUSLIM PERSONAL LAW (MPL) MATTERS SPECIAL DIVISION IN THE SUPERIOR COURTS BILL.

No harm will be done if  this provision is made while the (MMB) is still under consideration or any other Bills related to MPL is legislated.  We will further  take the liberty to suggest changes to the Bill before the above deadline to accommodate this and trust that the  two (2) attachments  will be of  some help. considered.

A paper on Muslim Personal law MPL by Dr Sheikh AK Toffar referred to in the Comment.

Chapter 5 of the Muslim Marriages Bill referred to in the Comment