Source: GroundUp (Cape Town)
Fathers to be able to register the births of their children without the mother being present or giving consent
By Tania Broughton
In a victory for “invisible, undocumented children”, unwed fathers will soon be able to register the births of their children without the mother being present or giving consent.
In a ruling this week, three judges of the Eastern Cape High Court, deemed the relevant provision of the Births and Death Registration Act, to be unconstitutional. It still has to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.
The matter was initially raised by Legal Resources Centre (LRC), with the support of the Centre for Child Law, in a “public interest” application against the Minister and Director-General of Home Affairs.
They were acting on behalf of a South African National Defence Force soldier who met, and fell in love with a Congolese woman while posted on a peacekeeping mission in her country. They married according to customary law in the DRC.
She, along with their two children, came to South Africa on a visitors permit in 2015, where she gave birth to their third child.
Despite the fact that the child was born in South Africa and the father was South African, Home Affairs refused to register the birth because the mother was “undocumented”.