August 9th is women’s day; the whole country celebrates this day as the day women marched up to parliament to demand equal rights. I am very patriotic and love my country very much. I abhor things like racism and intolerance. That’s why it pains me to see things when they appear to be unconstitutional.
Our constitution states that women enjoy the same rights as men
Polygamy (in my opinion) infringes on this right, as women are not allowed to have more than one husband unlike their male counterpart, according to the SA legal system coupled with customary law.
Why then I ask myself is the president of our country allowed to be a polygamist?
In researching polygamy and the law, I have discovered that the law itself on this issue is vague. In order to obtain a marriage license to marry you have to produce a death certificate or certificate of divorce from your previous spouse before obtaining one. The president of our country is a polygamist, and uses his right to practice his beliefs under his cultural heritage as a way of allowing this.
This infuriates me. This is not your average Joe Soap from down the road, this is a man who is supposed to represent us as a country and what we as South Africans stand for. This is a man who is going to pay tribute to women around the world tomorrow in celebration of women’s day and yet he himself lives a lifestyle at odds with the constitution he has sworn to uphold.
On women’s day it is important to reflect on gender equality and women’s rights. Do you personally think that there is a conflict between the law, customary law, the constitution and the actions of our president?