Marriage not recognised because lobola not paid off

07 September 2013 - 12:26 By Sapa
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The High Court in Pretoria has dismissed an application by a woman to force the Home Affairs department to register a customary marriage between her and her deceased partner

The Saturday Citizen reported that Raisiba Mathaba, 52, wanted her "marriage" to Tsokolo Maringa, recognised but the court found the lobola process had not been finalised.

Maringa's daughter, Rebecca, who was appointed executrix of his estate, opposed the application.

Lobola negotiations took place in 2010 and it was agreed that Mathaba's family would pay lobola of R12,000 and the groom would deliver certain items like blankets and knives to the bride's family.

However, Mathaba's family only paid R10,000 and undertook to pay the rest, the newspaper reported. Maringa died before the process was finalised.

Mathaba said she and Maringa lived together as husband and wife, proving that her family had handed her over to Maringa's family.

Maringa's daughter said the handing did not take place, and that Mathaba could only be handed over once the outstanding lobola was paid.

Judge Nomsa Khumalo said handing over the bride was one of the events but was not the only factor that determined if the marriage existed.

Khumalo said the lobola receipt stated the groom's family was going to collate the outstanding items and the cash, and go back to the bride's family to complete the process.