DA opposes Traditional Courts Bill
DA leader Helen Zille has said the bill should be opposed in its entirety.
CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday said parliament must seize the moment and define the role of traditional leaders in a way that is consistent with the Constitution.
The DA plans to reject the Traditional Courts Bill and will oppose it in its entirety in the National Council of Provinces.
The bill aims to give senior traditional leaders the power to make the law and enforce sanctions in designated tribal areas.
The Traditional Courts Bill was withdrawn after widespread opposition in 2008.
But it's been reintroduced with no changes to the National Council of Provinces.
DA leader Helen Zille said there has been a place for traditional courts if people living in those communities prefer that.
"We believe there is a very important role to play and this is a golden opportunity for Parliament to seize the moment and define that role appropriately."
But, as it stands, the bill undermines constitutional democracy and does not promote the development of customary law.
She said rural women will be disempowered if the bill is passed in its current form, as it opens the door for bias and abuse.