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Outdated, draconian, sexist: why apartheid laws are facing the ...


Outdated, draconian, sexist: why apartheid laws are facing the chop

National Key Points Act and Riotous Assemblies Act are just two of many laws hanging on from the old order


Some of SA’s predemocratic laws that have faced scrutiny in recent years and have been described as discriminatory, outdated, draconian and sexist, including the Matrimonial Property Act of 1984, the Riotous Assemblies Act and the Transkei Penal Code of 1983 Regulation of Gathering Act, could soon face the chop as the Law Reform Commission investigates their viability.

South Africans have until June 3 to make written submissions to suggest and motivate which of the colonial and apartheid laws should be amended or repealed. Principal state law adviser at the commission adv Fanyana Mdumbe said even though some of the apartheid remnant laws appeared neutral and not overtly unconstitutional, their existence might “evoke painful memories” as they were designed to foster the policies of apartheid. Mdumbe said the inquiry, quietly started in July last year and set to be finalised in 2023, was to rid the country’s statute book of “these remnants of our past”. The commission expected to get the bulk of the comment in the next two weeks.

“While some of these laws seem unobjectionable, members of the public, including parliamentarians, have averred that because they were promulgated to advance policies of the apartheid regime and their underlying public policy is tainted by an unconstitutional objective, [they] should be repealed on the basis of their ignoble provenance...

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