Customary Law has been a subordinate element in the South African legal order in that it was subject to state legislation, certain Courts could not take judicial notice of it, and it could be applied only if compatible with principles of public policy and natural justice. These were the requirements of the so-called “Repugnancy Proviso”. In addition customary law was subordinate to Roman-Dutch common law and the common law provided the model to which customary law was expected to conform. In fact all legal analysis or comments on customary law are mediated by western legal categories.
Senior Research Associate with Phuhlisani NPC. Partnering with the Land Portal to add country resources for South Africa