(Funxani Gqogqa and Nobubele Maxabiso are at Nobubele’s new house one Saturday morning.)

Funxani: Baby, I wish I can get a lawyer who will fight Nosihombise and give me my property.

Nobubele: What do you mean?

Funxani: I tried to chase her out of my house, but my plan was fruitless.

Nobubele: Did she refuse to go away?

Funxani: I felt very embarrassed when she brought Mr. Mbalela, who is an elderly man at Nyibiba village. After that, I told her that she must pack her bags and leave my house.

Nobubele: Did the elderly man come to stop the fight?

Funxani: The elderly man came to my house to talk to us about customary law divorce. I didn’t hide that I want to divorce Nosihombise due to our personal problems in our marriage.

Nobubele: What did the old man say about your decision?

Funxani: He told me that indigenous law no longer applies.

Nobubele: What did he mean?

Funxani: He told me that the South African government states that Indigenous law must apply where it is applicable and it must be applied when it doesn’t unfairly discriminate against any people.

Nobubele: Can you explain that for me please?

Funxani: He told me that during the past, when indigenous law was the only law in South Africa, women and children were regarded as minors who couldn’t own properties or inherit anything.

Nobubele: Indigenous law still represents the way our patriarchal ancestors ruled and controlled their children and wives.

Funxani: The elderly man told me that based on democratic law, which is influenced by English-law and Roman-Dutch law, when we divorce, Nosihombise, has the right to live in my house and raise my children in a safe and secure environment. The elder also made it clear that I must be the one who is moving out of my house and leave my children and wife in the house.

Nobubele: The new law is unfair to you, because you work hard and you built a big house and now you have to lose a house to your wife who will bring a new man into that house!

Funxani: I complained to the elderly man about the new law. He told me that the kings, chiefs, and the elders work closely with the rules and the laws of the court now. The old man told me that he is ruling the village according to the South African Constitution and he complies with the Bill of Rights at all times.

Nobubele: It’s fine, you can divorce her and move into my house. We can start a new happy life together.

Funxani: Nosihombise refused to sign the divorce papers. I am not sure why she still thinks I will go back to her.

Nobubele: Nosihombise is making things difficult for our future. She must find somebody else in her life and forget about you, because you are mine and I am yours.

Funxani: It’s fine. I know what I will do for her to accept my divorce.

Nobubele: What? Will you go to that witch who lost weight after you left her?

Funxani: Her brain won’t function properly once you become pregnant with my child. I know once that happens, she will give up and realise that I no longer want her to be a part of my life.

Nobubele: You are right. The birth of our child will destroy Nosihombise’s life. She will feel stupid and will want to divorce you right away.

(The two hold each other’s hands and they start to kiss.)


Tell us: Do you think Funxani is being fair to his wife, Nosihombise?