Women and Justice: Keywords

Domestic Case Law

De Lange v. Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of South Africa for the Time Being (Voortsittende Biskop van die Metodiste kerk van Suid Afrika vir tyd en wyl) Constitutional Court of South Africa (Konstitusionele Hof van Suid Afrika) (2015)


Gender discrimination, LGBTIQ

After a Methodist Church minister (applicant) announced to her congregation her intention to marry her same-sex partner, the Methodist Church (respondent) suspended and subsequently discontinued her role as an ordained minister in early 2010. In March 2010, the applicant referred the matter to arbitration according to the Laws and Discipline of the Church. The parties could not agree on the applicant’s procedural rights and the arbitration convener proceeded with the process as provided by the Laws and Discipline of the Church. On her behalf, the convener then entered into a final agreement with the Church in May 2011. In 2012, the applicant approached the Western Cape High Court, Cape Town seeking an order to set aside the arbitration agreement in terms of the Arbitration Act. She contended that she was unfairly discriminated against on the basis of her sexual orientation. The High Court held that the applicant had not shown good cause to set aside the arbitration agreement. She then appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The majority judgment of that Court agreed with the finding of the High Court. The applicant sought leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court. In a unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court made four findings. First, the applicant had not shown good cause to set aside the arbitration agreement. Because the issue related to interpretation of religious doctrine, arbitration would be the appropriate forum. Second, since the applicant had unequivocally disavowed her unfair discrimination claim before the High Court, she was not free to raise the claim for the first time on appeal. Third, pursuant to the principle of constitutional subsidiarity, the applicant should have first brought her unfair discrimination claim to the Equality Court. Finally, the applicant failed to file a notice in terms of the Uniform Rules of the High Court, an omission that deprived other interested parties including religious communities of the opportunity to intervene as parties to the dispute or seek admission as amicus curiae in the High Court. The Court accordingly dismissed the appeal.

Nadat ’n predikant van die Metodiste Kerk (applikant) aan haar gemeente aangekondig het dat sy van voorneme is om met haar maat van dieselfde geslag te trou, het die Metodiste Kerk (respondent) vroeg in 2010 haar rol as ’n geordende predikant opgeskort en daarna gestaak. In Maart 2010 het die applikant die saak na arbitrasie verwys volgens die Wette en Dissipline van die Kerk. Die partye kon nie saamstem oor die prosedurele regte van die applikant nie en die arbitrasie- sameroeper het voortgegaan met die proses soos bepaal deur die Wette en Dissipline van die Kerk. Die sameroeper het namens haar in Mei 2011 ’n finale ooreenkoms aangegaan met die Kerk. In 2012 het die applikant die Wes-Kaapse hooggeregshof, Kaapstad, genader om ’n bevel aan te vra om die arbitrasie ooreenkoms ingevolge die Wet op Arbitrasie tersyde te stel. Sy het aangevoer dat daar onbillik teen haar gediskrimineer word op grond van haar seksuele oriëntasie. Die Hooggeregshof het beslis dat die applikant nie goeie rede vir die arbitrasie-ooreenkoms getoon het nie. Sy het toe appél aangeteken by die Hoogste Hof van Appèl. Die meerderheidsuitspraak van daardie Hof het saam gestem met die bevinding van die Hooggeregshof. Die applikant het verlof gevra om tot die Konstitusionele Hof te appelleer. In ’n eenparige uitspraak het die Konstitusionele Hof vier bevindings gemaak. Eerstens het die applikant nie goeie gronde getoon om die arbitrasie-ooreenkoms ter syde te stel nie. Omdat dit die kwessie rakende die interpretasie van godsdienstige leerstellings is, sou arbitrasie die gepaste forum wees. Tweedens, aangesien die applikant haar onbillike diskriminasie-eis voor die hooggeregshof onomwonde verwerp het, was sy nie vry om die eis vir die eerste keer op appèl aanhandig te maak nie. Derdens moes die applikant volgens die beginsel van grondwettige subsidiariteit haar eis op onbillike diskriminasie eers by die gelykheidshof ingedien het. Uiteidelik het die applikant versuim om ’n kennisgewing in te dien ingevolge die eenvormige Reëls van die Hooggeregshof, ’n versuim wat ander belanghebbende partye, waaronder godsdienstige gemeensappe, die geleentheid ontneem het om as partye tot die geskil in te gryp of om toelating as amicus curiae in die Hooggeregshof te verkry. Die hof het die appèl gevolglik van die hand gewys.



National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v. Minister of Justice (Nasionale Koalisie vir Gay en Lesbiese Gelykheid v Minister van Justisie) Constitutional Court of South Africa (Konstitusionele Hof van Suid Afrika) (1998)


Gender discrimination, LGBTIQ

The case concerned a referral for confirmation to the Constitutional Court of an order made by the Witwatersrand High Court. The referral sought to affirm that the following laws are unconstitutional and invalid (a) the common law offence of sodomy, and (b) the inclusion of sodomy in schedules to, inter alia, the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, which prohibits sexual conduct between men in certain circumstances. Although technically the Constitutional Court only had to decide on the constitutionality of the inclusion of sodomy in the schedules and of the section of the Sexual Offences Act, it could not do so without also considering the constitutionality of sodomy as a common law offence. The Constitutional Court found that the offences, all aimed at prohibiting sexual intimacy between gay men, violated the right to equality by unfairly discriminating against gay men on the basis of sexual orientation. Such discrimination is presumed to be unfair since the Constitution expressly includes sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Die saak het betrekking op ’n verwysing ter bevestiging van die Konstitusionele Hof van ’n bevel wat deur die Witwatersrandse hooggeregshof gemaak. is. Met die verwysing word bevestig dat die volgende wette ongrondwetlik en ongeldig is (a) die gemeenregtelike misdryf van sodomie en (b) die insluiting van sodomie in skedules vir, inter alia, onder meer die Stafproseswet 51 van 1977, wat seksuele gedrag tussen mans in sekere omstandighede verbied. Alhoewel die Konstitusionele Hof slegs tegnies moes besluit oor die grondwetlikheid van die insluiting van sodomie in die skedules en die afdeling van die Wet op seksuele misdrywe, dit sou dit nie kon doen sonder om die grondwetlikheid van sodomie as ’n gemeenregtelike oortreding te beskou nie. Die konstitusionele hof het bevind dat die misdrywe wat daarop gemik is om seksuele intimiteit tussen homoseksuele mans te verbied, die reg op gelykheid geskend het deur op ’n onbillike wyse te diskrimineer teen homoseksuele mans op grond van seksuele oriëntatse. Daar word bevind dat die tipe diskriminasie onbillik is aangesien die Grondwet uitdruklik bepaal dat diskriminasie teen seksuele oriëntasie, verbode grond is.



Mgolozeli v. Gauteng Department of Finance Labour Court of South Africa (Arbeidshof van Suid Afrika) (2014)


Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

The applicant, a male, applied for a senior managerial position previously occupied by a woman. After undergoing a psychometric assessment, he was recommended for appointment. The recommendation was turned down “due to the gender imbalance at SMS level”. The applicant claimed that he had been unfairly discriminated against on the basis of his sex because the target, set by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, did not comply with the provisions of the Employment Equity Act (EEA), 55 of 1998. The respondent contended that, although it had not adopted an equity plan, it had set itself a target of 50% females in senior management positions. The Court noted that when the second respondent took the decision not to appoint the applicant, there was great confusion regarding the actual gender balance at the senior management level. However, the Court was prepared to accept that, at the time, females filled only 29% senior management posts. The EEA requires that equity plans must provide objectives for each year, their duration, and procedures for evaluating their implementation. The Court noted that, in SA Police Service v Solidarity obo Barnard (Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union as amicus curiae [2014] 11 BLLR 1025 (CC)), the Constitutional Court had confirmed that competent courts must ensure that validly adopted equity plans are applied lawfully. Apart from the fact that the respondent had no plan, it had no mechanism to track the levels of gender representation. The second respondent had applied the target without considering the panel’s reasons for its recommendation. Affirmative action had been applied ad hoc, in a haphazard, arbitrary, and random manner. The responsible official had applied a quota system and raised an absolute barrier, both of which were impermissible. The affirmative action measure applied by the respondents conflicted with both the Constitution and the EEA. Accordingly, the measure had unfairly discriminated against the applicant. The respondents were directed to appoint the applicant to the post concerned and pay him compensation equal to the difference between the salary he had earned and the salary he should have earned, with retrospective effect.

Die applikant, 'n man, het aansoek gedoen vir 'n senior bestuurs-posisie wat voorheen deur 'n vrou beset was. Nadat hy 'n psigometriese assessering ondergaan het, is hy vir aanstelling aanbeveel. Die aanbeveling is afgekeur "as gevolg van die geslagswanbalans op SMS-vlak". Die applikant het daarop aanspraak gemaak dat hy op grond van sy geslag onregverdig gediskrimineer is omdat die teiken, wat deur die Gautengse Provinsiale Wetgewer gestel is, nie voldoen het aan die bepalings van die Wet op Gelyke Indiensneming (EEA), 55 van 1998 nie. Die respondent het beweer dat, hoewel dit nie 'n ekwiteitsplan aangeneem het nie, het dit 'n teiken van 50% vroue in senior bestuursposte gestel. Die Hof het opgemerk dat toe die tweede respondent die besluit geneem het om nie die applikant aan te stel nie, was daar groot verwarring oor die werklike geslagsbalans op die Senior bestuursvlak. Die hof was egter bereid om te aanvaar dat vrouens slegs 29% senior bestuursposte gevul het. Die EEA vereis dat ekwiteitsplanne doelwitte moet gee vir elke jaar, hulle duur en prosedures om die implementering daarvan te evalueer. Die Hof het opgemerk dat, in SA Polisiediens v Solidariteit nms Barnard (Polisie en Gevangenisse Burgerregte-Unie as amucus curiae [2014] 11 BLLR 1025 (CC)), het die Konstitusionele Hof bevestig dat bevoegde howe moet verseker dat aanvaarde ekwiteitsplanne wettig toegepas is. Afgesien van die feit dat die respondent geen plan gehad het nie, het dit geen meganisme gehad om die vlakke van geslagsverteenwoordiging op te spoor nie. Die tweede respondent het die teiken toegepas sonder om die paneel se redes vir die aanbeveling te oorweeg. Regstellende aksie is in 'n lukrake, arbitrêre, en willekeurige wyse toegepas. Die verantwoordelike amptenaar het 'n kwota-stelsel toegepas en 'n absolute versperring geopper wat albei ontoelaatbaar was. Die regstellende aksie maatreël wat deur die respondente toegepas is bots met beide die Grondwet en die EEA. Gevolglik het die maatreël teen die aansoeker onregverdig gediskrimineer. Die respondente is gerig om die aansoeker aan die betrokke pos toe te stel en vergoeding gelyk te skenk aan die verskil tussen die salaris wat hy verdien het en die salaris wat hy moes verdien het, met 'n terugwerkende effek.



Ekhamanzi Springs Ltd. v. Mnomiya Labor Appeal Court of South Africa (Arbeidsappèlhof van Suid Afrika) (2014)


Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

The respondent was employed by the appellant to bottle Aquelle spring water. The appellant’s plant was located on property belonging to a religious mission, and to gain access to the workplace, the appellant’s employees had to cross the mission’s property. The mission’s security guards were instructed to bar entry to any persons who did not comply with its code of conduct; one provision, for example, prohibited “amorous relationships between any two persons outside of marriage”. The respondent and a colleague were denied access because they became pregnant outside of marriage. Consequently, the respondent and her colleague were not able to access the workplace, as they were refused access to the mission’s property. They were subsequently fired. The court ruled that the dismissal of the respondent employee was automatically unfair because she had been dismissed for her pregnancy. The court noted that all persons have a constitutional right to equality. Discriminatory dismissals, such as this one, are accordingly automatically unfair and higher compensation is allowed in such cases. Employers are obliged to avoid discriminating against employees directly or indirectly ̶ protection against being discriminated against on the ground of pregnancy is not a preserve of married women. An agreement that denies pregnant employees access to the workplace is accordingly prima facie unenforceable unless it can be justified on grounds consistent with constitutional norms. The mission’s code of conduct interfered with the employment relationship between the appellant and its employees and created a situation in which breaches could lead to dismissal. Such provisions blurred the line between the appellant’s terms and conditions of employment and the mission’s code. That the employee was not a party to the mission’s code proved decisive. As lessee, the appellant had legal remedies to compel the mission to allow full use and enjoyment of the leased property. The appellant’s faint plea of operational necessity could not serve as a defense because it had failed to exercise its rights as lessee to protect its pregnant employees. The employee had tendered her services, and the appellant’s refusal to accept the tender constituted a breach of contract. The court further held that the appellant’s acquiescence in the mission’s discriminatory practice of barring unwed pregnant women from the leased premises violated the appellant’s constitutional duty to treat its employees fairly and was a breach of its common law duty to accept the employees into service. The court, therefore, confirmed that the employee had been dismissed and that her dismissal was automatically unfair. The court also confirmed the remedy of 12 months’ compensation.

Die respondent is in die diens van die appêlant om Aquelle water te bottel. Die appêlant se aanleg was op eiendom wat aan 'n godsdienstige sending behoort, en om toegang tot die werksplek te verkry, moes die appêlant se werknemers die sending se eiendom oorsteek. Die sending se sekuriteitswagte is opdrag gegee om toegang te verbied aan enige persone wat nie aan hul gedragskode voldoen het nie; een bepaling, byvoorbeeld, het "verliefde verhoudings tussen enige twee persone buite die huwelik" verbied. Die respondent en 'n kollega is toegang geweier omdat hulle buite die huwelik swanger geraak het. Gevolglik was die respondent en haar kollega nie in staat om toegang tot die werksplek te verkry nie. Aangesien hulle toegang tot die missie se eiendom geweier is is hulle is daarna afgedank. Die hof het beslis dat die ontslag van die respondent werknemer outomaties onregverdig was omdat sy vir haar swangerskap ontslaan is. Die hof het kennis geneem dat alle persone 'n grondwetlike reg tot gelykheid het. Diskriminerende afdankings, soos hierdie een, is dienooreenkomstig outomaties onregverdig en hoër vergoeding word toegelaat in sulke gevalle. Werkgewers is verplig om te verhoed dat daar diskriminasie is teen werknemers, direk of indirek - beskerming teen diskriminasie op die grond van swangerskap is nie 'n bewaar van getroude vrouens nie. 'n ooreenkoms wat verwagtende werknemers se toegang tot die werksplek ontken is gevolglik prima facie-onafdwingbaar tensy dit geregverdig kan word op grond wat met grondwetlike norme bestaanbaar is. Die sending se gedragskode het met die werksverhouding tussen die appêlant en sy werknemers ingemeng en 'n situasie geskep waarin oortredings tot ontslag kan lei. Sodanige bepalings vervaag die lyn tussen die appêlant se bepalings en voorwaardes van indiensneming en die sending se kode. Dat die werknemer nie 'n party tot die sending se kode was nie, was beslissend. As huurder het die appêlant regsmiddels gehad om die sending te dwing om volle gebruik en genot van die gehuurde eiendom toe te laat. Die appêlant se dowwe pleidooi van operasionele noodsaaklikheid kon nie dien as 'n verdediging nie omdat dit versuim het om sy regte as huurder om sy swanger werknemers te beskerm uit te oefen. Die werknemer het haar dienste aangebied, en die appêlant se weiering om die aanbod te aanvaar het 'n skending van die kontrak saamgestel. Die hof het verder bevind dat die appêlant se vrywaring in die diskriminerende praktyk van die missie om ongewenste swanger vroue van die gehuurde perseel te belet. Die appellant se grondwetlike plig om sy werknemers billik te behandel is geskend en dat dit ‘n oortreding van sy gemeenregtelike plig was om die werknemers in diens te neem. Die hof het dus bevestig dat die werknemer ontslaan is en dat haar ontslag outomaties onregverdig was. Die hof het ook die regsmiddel van 12 maande se vergoeding bevestig.



South African Police Service v. Barnard Constitutional Court of South Africa (Konstitutionele Hof van Suid Afrika) (2014)


Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

The South African Police Service (“SAPS”) had adopted the Employment Equity Plan (“EEP”), which sets numerical goals to produce gender and racial diversity. The appellant, Ms. Barnard, applied twice for a position in the National Evaluation Service of the SAPS in 2005. Despite being shortlisted, interviewed, and recommended as the best-suited candidate, she did not get the position on either occasion. This case concerns her second attempt, where the National Commissioner did not appoint Ms. Barnard on the grounds that it would not enhance racial representation at that salary level and that it was not necessary to fill the vacancy immediately because the post was not critical. While the Labor Court found that SAPS had unfairly discriminated against the appellant, the Labor Appeal Court found in favor of SAPS. On further appeal, the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) reversed the Labor Appeal Court’s decision and held that Ms. Barnard had been the victim of unfair discrimination on the basis of race, in violation of Section 9(3) of the Constitution and Section 6(1) of the Employment Equity Act (the Act). The Constitutional Court granted SAPS leave to appeal and unanimously reversed the SCA’s ruling in favor of Ms. Barnard. As the Court noted, the SCA found that SAPS had failed to rebut the presumption that the discrimination against Ms. Barnard was unfair. But, since the EEP was a valid affirmative action measure, the issue was not whether the Plan could overcome such presumption, but whether the decision the National Commissioner made under it was open to challenge. The Court found that the Commissioner properly exercised his discretion. Appointing Ms. Barnard would have aggravated the overrepresentation of white women at that salary level. And, the decision did not bar Ms. Barnard from future promotions.

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens ("SAPD") het die Indiensnemingsplan ("EHOU") aangeneem, wat numeriese doelwitte stel om geslags-en rassediversiteit te produseer. Die appêlant, Me. Barnard, het twee keer aansoek gedoen vir 'n pos in die Nasionale Evalueringsdiens van die SAPD in 2005. Ten spyte van op die kortlys wees, ondervra, en aanbeveel as die beste geskik kandidaat, het sy nie die posisie op beide geleenthede gekry nie. Hierdie saak gaan oor haar tweede poging, waar die Nasionale Kommissaris nie Me. Barnard aangestel het nie op die grond dat dit nie rasseverteenwoordiging op daardie salarisvlak sou verbeter nie en dat dit nie nodig was om die vakature onmiddellik te vul nie omdat die pos nie krities was nie. Terwyl die Arbeidshof bevind het dat SAPD teen die appêlant onbillik gediskrimineer het, het die Arbeidsappèlhof ten gunste van die SAPD bevind. Op verdere appèl het die Hoogste Hof van Appèl ("SCA") die Arbeidsappèlhof se besluit omgekeer en gehou dat Me. Barnard die slagoffer van onbillike diskriminasie op grond van ras was, in die skending van artikel 9(3) van die Grondwet en artikel 6(1) van die Wet op Billike Werksgeleenthede (die Wet). Die Konstitusionele Hof het die SAPD laat appelleer en die SCA se beslissing ten gunste van Me. Barnard omgekeer. Soos die Hof opgemerk het, het die SCA bevind dat die SAPD versuim het om die vermoede dat die diskriminasie teen Me. Barnard onregverdig was te weerlê. Maar aangesien die EHOU 'n geldige regstellende aksieplan was, was die kwessie nie of die plan so 'n vermoede kon oorkom nie, maar of die Nasionale Kommissaris se besluit daaronder oop was om te daag. Die hof het bevind dat die Kommissaris sy diskresie behoorlik uitgeoefen het. Die aanstelling van Me. Barnard sou die oorverteenwoordiging van wit vroue op daardie salarisvlak vererger het. Die besluit het nie Me. Barnard van toekomstige promosies belet nie.



Gumede v. President of the Republic of South Africa & Others Constitutional Court of South Africa (Konstitutionele Hof van Suid Afrika) (2008)


Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Gender discrimination, International law, Property and inheritance rights

Mrs. and Mr. Gumede, both domiciled in KwaZulu-Natal, entered into a monogamous customary marriage in 1968 and four children were born during their marriage. Because she was forbidden by her husband to take up employment, Mrs. Gumede never worked and could not contribute to the accumulation of the family’s estate, which included two family homes. She was always the primary caregiver of the children. After forty years, the marriage broke down irretrievably. Mrs. Gumede had no family and was dependent for financial support upon her children and her old-age pension. In 2003, Mr. Gumede instituted divorce proceedings before the Divorce Court. Mrs. Gumede also approached the High Court and obtained an order invalidating the discriminatory legislative provisions on which the Divorce Court could rely. The Constitutional Court subsequently was approached by the Minister of Home Affairs and the KwaZulu-Natal Member of the Executive Council for Traditional Leaders and Local Government Affairs who resisted the order, for the reevaluation of the order of the High Court declaring constitutionally invalid certain sections of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, of the KwaZulu Act on the Code of Zulu Law 16 of 1985 and certain sections of the Natal Code of Zulu Law (Proc R155 of 1987), which regulate the proprietary consequences of customary marriages. In a lengthy judgment, the Constitutional Court took great pains to explain that any distinction between the consequences of customary marriages entered into before and after the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act came into operation is discriminatory, inconsistent with the Constitution, and invalid. The Constitutional Court noted the international instruments that South Africa has ratified that prohibit forms of discrimination against women, including CEDAW. It held that the two provisions are patently discriminatory, unfair, and not justifiable. In terms of the judgment, all monogamous customary marriages entered into before the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act came into operation are now ipso facto in community of property, excluding customary marriages which had been terminated by death or by divorce before the date of the judgment. The Constitutional Court further held that the constitutional invalidity of Section 7(1) was limited to monogamous marriages and should not concern polygynous relationships or their proprietary consequences, determining that polygynous marriages should continue to be “regulated by customary law until parliament intervenes.”

Mev. en Mnr. Gumede, beide in KwaZulu-Natal gedomisilieer, het 'n monogame huwelik in 1968 aangegaan en vier kinders is tydens hulle huwelik gebore. Omdat sy deur haar man verbied is om te werk, het Mev. Gumede nog nooit gewerk nie en kon nie bydra tot die bydrae van die familie se boedel nie, wat twee familie-huise ingesluit het. Sy was altyd die primêre versorger van die kinders. Na veertig jaar het die huwelik onherstelbaar verbrokkel. Mev. Gumede het geen familie gehad nie en was afhanklik van finansiële steun van haar kinders en haar pensioen. In 2003 het Mnr. Gumede egskeiding verrigtinge voor die Egskeidingshof ingestel. Mev. Gumede het ook die Hooggeregshof genader en 'n bevel verkry wat die diskriminerende wetgewende bepalings waarop die Egskeidingshof op kon staatmaak, ongeldig maak. Die Konstitusionele Hof is vervolgens deur die Minister van Binnelandse Sake en die KwaZulu-Natal lid van die Uitvoerende Raad vir Tradisionele Leiers en Plaaslikeregeringsake wat die bevel teengestaan het, vir die herevaluering van die bevel van die Hooggeregs Hof wat sekere afdelings van die Wet op die Erkenning van Gebruiklike Huwelike, van die KwaZulu- Wet op die wet op Zoeloe Wetgewing 16 van 1985 en sekere afdelings van die Natalse wet op Zulu regte (B.proc R155 of 1987), wat die gevolge van gebruiklike huwelike reguleer, ongrondwetlik verklaar het. In 'n lang uitspraak het die Konstitusionele Hof baie moeite gedoen om te verduidelik dat enige onderskeid tussen die gevolge van gebruiklike huwelike wat voor en na die inwerkingtreding van die Wet op Erkenning van Gebruiklike huwelike aangegaaan is, diskriminerend, strydig is met die Grondwet en ongeldig is. Die Konstitusionele Hof het kennis geneem van die internasionale instrumente wat Suid-Afrika bekragtig het wat vorme van diskriminasie teen vroue verbied, insluitend CEDAW. Dit het beslis dat die twee bepalings oorwegend patriminerend, onbillik en nie regverdigbaar is nie. Ingevolge die uitspraak is alle monoggame gebruiklike huwelike aangegaan voor die Erkenning van Gebruiklike Huwelike Wet in werking gekom het, tree nou ipso facto binne gemeenskap vangoedere op, uitsluitend gebruiklike huwelike wat beëindig is deur die dood of deur egskeiding voor die datum van die vonnis. Die Konstitusionele Hof het verder bevind dat die grondwetlike ongeldigheid van artikel 7(1) beperk was tot monogame huwelike en behoort nie poligame huwelike of hul eie gevolge te bemoei nie, met die bepaling dat poligame huwelike steeds gereguleer word deur gewoontereg totdat die Parlement ingryp.



Incorporated Law Society v. Wookey, 1912 AD 623 Appellant Division (Appêlant Afdeling) (1912)


Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

A firm of attorneys was willing to enroll Madeline Wookey as an articled clerk, but Wookey met with opposition from the Cape Law Society, which refused to register her articles. Wookey submitted an application to the Cape Supreme Court, which ordered the Society to register her. The Law Society appealed this decision to the Appellate Division, arguing that Wookey could not be admitted as an attorney because she was a woman. The Appellate Division was called upon to decide whether the term “persons” used in the statute governing admission of attorneys to the bar included only “male persons” or also included women. They determined that “persons” included only male persons, thus excluding women from the legal profession.

'n Prokureurs firma was bereid om Madeline Wookey as 'n geartikelde klerk in te skryf, maar Wookey het teenkanting van die Kaapse Regsvereniging ontvang, wat geweier het om haar artikels te registreer. Wookey het 'n aansoek by die Kaapse Hooggeregshof ingedien, wat die Vereniging beveel het om haar te registreer. Die Regsvereniging het hierdie besluit aan die Appel-afdeling beroep en geargumenteer dat die Wookey nie as 'n prokureur toegelaat kon word nie omdat sy 'n vrou is. Die Appélaat Afdeling was ontbied om te besluit of die term "persone" wat in die statuut wat die toelating van prokureurs tot die balie hanteer slegs "manlike persone" insluit het of ook vroue ingesluit het. Hulle het vasgestel dat "persone" slegs manlike persone ingesluit het, en het dus vroue by die regsprofessie uitgesluit.



Schlesin v. Incorporated Law Society, 1909 TSC 363. Transvaal Supreme Court (Transvaal Hoofgeregs Hof) (1909)


Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

In 1909, Judge Bristowe of the Transvaal Supreme Court presided over Schlesin v. Incorporated Law Society, the first case in South Africa to consider whether women had a right to enter the legal profession. The Transvaal Supreme Court held that women were barred from admission to legal practice based on historical practice in South Africa, Holland, and England. Judge Bristowe explained that the Interpretation of Laws Proclamation 15 of 1902 provided that “words of the masculine gender shall include females…unless contrary intention appears” and found that given long historical practice, it was evident that contrary intention did indeed appear in the legislation governing admission to the bar.

In 1909 het Regter Bristowe van die Transvaal se Hooggeregs Hof oor Schlesin v. Geinkorporeerde Regsvereniging voorgesit. Die hof het beslis dat vroue toegang tot die regspraktyk verbied word op grond van die historiese praktyk in Suid-Afrika, Holland en Engeland. Regter Bristowe het verduidelik dat die interpretasie van Wette- Proklamasie 15 van 1902 met dien verstande dat "woorde van die manlike geslag, vroulikes sal insluit ... tensy daar ‘n teenstrydige bedoeling is" en het gevind dat die gegewe lang historiese praktyke, was dit duidelik dat ‘n teenstrydige voorneme inderdaad verskyn in die wetgewing wat toelating tot die balie toelaat.