Cabinet withdraws civil partnership clause

By Lisa Masuku

Cabinet has withdrawn a clause in the Marriages Amendment Bill that provided for civil partnership stating such a union was alien and not consistent with the country’s cultural and Christian values.

The proposed new marriage law  sparked controversy with many suggesting the clause undermines family unit and traditional marriage institution.

Section 40 of Marriages Amendment Bill provided as follows:

“A relationship between a man and a woman who — (a) are both over the age of eighteen years; and

(b) have lived together without legally being married to each other; and

(c) are not within the degrees of affinity or consanguinity as provided in Section 7; and

(d) having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis; shall be regarded as being in a civil partnership for the purposes of determining the rights and obligations of the parties on dissolution of the relationship and, for this purpose, sections 7 to 11 of the Matrimonial Causes Act [Chapter 5:13] shall mutatis mutandis apply on the dissolution of any such relationship.”