Zille slams Traditional Courts Bill

The DA on Thursday said the Traditional Courts Bill opens the door for bias, subjectivity and abuse.

DA leader Helen Zille. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Traditional Courts Bill opens the door for bias, subjectivity and abuse, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday.

Opposition leader Helen Zille said her party rejects the proposed law in its entirety and will oppose the bill in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The draft legislation was reintroduced in 2012, despite having been withdrawn after its initial introduction in 2008.

The bill gives senior traditional leader the ability to make laws, adjudicate compliance and enforce sanctions.

But Zille said the proposed law does not include sufficient protection for members of traditional communities.

She said it would impact on the rights of rural women.

The DA leader said the bill recognises the participation of women in name only, and provides another platform for continued discrimination.

According to Zille, customary law could play a positive role in some cases of dispute resolution.

However, the bill creates an entirely parallel legal system which undermines the rights of women, she said.

Some traditional leaders have also slammed the bill, saying they are opposed to many parts of it.

They said the law will ultimately undermine traditional leadership.