HHP’s dad goes to court to try to annul the customary marriage.

HHP’s dad goes to court to try to annul the customary marriage.

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Robert Tsambo, the father of the late hip-hop star Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo, has asked the Constitutional Court to rule that the marriage between his son and Lerato Sengadi was not concluded, as a handing over ceremony was not performed.

Tsambo SNR has approached the apex court in a last-ditch attempt to have the marriage between HHP and Sengadi declared invalid.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) and the high court confirmed that a marriage had taken place between the two, as Sengadi was welcomed to the Tsambo family after lobola negotiations.

In his appeal at the ConCourt, HHP’s father has argued that the marriage was not valid as there was no hand over of the bride.

“Without the handing over of the bride, no valid marriage will come into existence because it is crucial that handing over be performed,” Tsambo argues in court papers.

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leratoTo support his argument, Tsambo’s lawyers cited a supreme court judge in the case of Elizabeth Southon and former Liberty Life director Mohau Moropane. In this matter, the SCA found that the handing over of the bride was the most “crucial” part of a customary marriage.

“The case authority referred to above indicate that the handing over of the bride is an important and crucial part of the marriage that cannot be overlooked, taken lightly or waived, as the high court and the SCA, in this case, seem to suggest, as well as other courts that decided on this issue,” Tsambo argued.

He said the performance of rituals was direct communication with the ancestors and that marriage from the African point of view was a cultural process that entailed the performance of certain rituals.

“As such, one cannot merely dispense with the need for the ancestors to recognize and bless the marriage. Hence, we respectfully submit that the SCA in Moropane v Southon was legally correct to hold that handing over is a crucial requirement for a customary marriage.

The lawyers submitted that the high court and the SCA in Tsambo’s case were both bound by the decision in Moropane against Southon.

“Neither of them concluded that it was wrongly decided or distinguishable. Therefore, we submit that in completely avoiding and disregarding the SCA judgment in Moropane v Southon, both the high court and the SCA, in this case, erred,” the papers read.

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“The high court merely speculated that because customary law is dynamic and flexible and not stagnant, people could waive a requirement for the validity of a customary marriage.

“The high court failed to ascertain the true content of the Tswana ‘living customary law’,” they state.

According to the lawyers, courts have given “inconsistent” judgments regarding what constitutes a valid customary marriage.

“We submit that the uncertainty in interpreting and approaching the validity of a customary marriage is perpetuated by different courts from one high court to another.”

They argued that in the event that the apex court found that the handing over of the bride could be waived, Tsambo and/or HHP never waived the requirement for Sengadi to be handed over.

“Thus, the finding of the SCA and/or the high court that there was such a waiver is simply erroneous and not borne out by any evidence.

“At no stage was the issue of the conclusion of a valid customary between the respondent [Sengadi] and the deceased raised and discussed at that particular meeting.”

Source: Instagram/Lerato Sengadi TimesLIVE