President Zuma’s ANC is determined to bulldoze the unconstitutional Traditional Courts Bill through Parliament without conducting a thorough public consultation process.
Today, the secretary of the Committee on Security and Constitutional Development presented inputs from various provincial legislatures.
During the presentation it became apparent that public consultation on the bill has been a farce.
In the Free State, for example, the provincial legislature has indicated its support for the bill, however, public hearings in the province are still underway.
At this stage, out of the nine provinces, Free State; Northern Cape; North West and Mpumalanga are in favour of the Bill, and Eastern Cape; Gauteng; Western Cape and Limpopo are against it. KwaZulu-Natal has not communicated a formal stance on the Bill.
Given the controversial nature of this Bill, and the divided opinion on it, it is imperative that a thorough consultation process is conducted on it.
The DA will write to the Chairperson of the of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Johannes Mahlangu, requesting that deliberations on the bill in the Committee on Security and Constitutional Development be stopped until all public consultation has been concluded.
The Traditional Courts Bill was first introduced in 2008 and was met with widespread opposition and subsequently withdrawn. Despite this, the Bill was reintroduced unchanged in 2012 and referred to the NCOP.
It would appear that despite opposition to the Bill by communities across the country, the ANC is determined to pass this law before the elections later this year in order to garner the support of traditional leaders.
“The DA will fight against the promulgation of the Traditional Court Bill. This Bill undermines our constitutional democracy, discriminates against women and stunts the development of customary law in our country” said Elza Van Lingen the DA leader in the NCOP.