Protecting the Vulnerable: JRM v VVC and Another (25007/2022) Exposes the Need for Judicial Oversight in Customary Marriage Property Regimes.

EB (born S) v ER (born B) and Others; KG v Minister of Home Affairs and Others, 2024 (1) BCLR 16 (CC); 2024 (2) SA 1 (CC): This case was cited in the judgment to highlight the notion that women typically enter into marriage poorer and more dependent than men, and therefore have less bargaining power (para 1). This case emphasises the vulnerability of women in marriages and the need for their protection.

Nkambula v Linda [1951] 1 All SA 412 (A): This case was mentioned in the judgment (footnote 36) to illustrate the historical context where customary unions were not regarded as legal marriages, and thus, partners to such unions could enter into civil marriages with third parties.

Sithole and Another v Sithole and Another, 2021 (6) BCLR 597 (CC); 2021 (5) SA 34 (CC): The judgment cited this case (para 65) to show that the Constitutional Court declared section 21(2)(a) of the Matrimonial Property Act unconstitutional and invalid because it perpetuated the discrimination created by the repealed section 22(6) of the Black Administration Act.

Mzalisi NO and Others v E O and Another, 2020 (3) SA 83 (SCA): This case was cited in the judgment (para 52) to emphasise that headings in a statute may be resorted to only where the meaning of a provision under consideration is doubtful, and that the provisions of section 10 of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act are unambiguous and clear.

Bato Star Fishing (Pty) Ltd v Minister of Environmental Affairs & Others, 2004 (4) SA 490 (CC): The judgment referred to this case (footnote 19) to highlight that the emerging trend in statutory construction is to have regard to the context in which the words occur, even where the words to be construed are clear and unambiguous.

National Director of Public Prosecutions and Another v Mohamed NO and Others, 2002 (9) BCLR 970 (CC): This case was cited in the judgment (para 119) to confirm that a High Court has the same competence as the Constitutional Court to “read in” as a remedy for the constitutional invalidity of a statutory provision, subject to confirmation by the Constitutional Court.

First National Bank of SA Limited t/a Wesbank v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Services and Another; First National Bank of SA Limited t/a Wesbank v Minister of Finance, 2002 (7) BCLR 702 (CC): The judgment referred to this case (para 115) to explain that a deprivation of property is “arbitrary” as meant by section 25 of the Constitution when the law referred to in section 25(1) does not provide sufficient reason for the particular deprivation in question or is procedurally unfair.

These additional cases, along with their relevance, provide a more comprehensive understanding of the legal principles and historical context that informed the court’s decision in JRM v VVC. They highlight the importance of protecting vulnerable parties, particularly women, in customary marriages and the need for legislative reform and judicial intervention to address systemic inequalities and promote substantive equality in South African family law.