JUDGE SUTHERLAND’S RULING: A STEP FORWARD BUT INADEQUATE FOR FATHERS’ RIGHTS

Press release: The Official Fathers 4 Justice South Africa

30 October 2023

Author: Gary Da Silva, Chairman, Fathers 4 Justice South Africa

Synopsis: Landmark Court Ruling Grants Fathers Equal Maternity Leave Rights: A Step Towards Equality and Fairness

JUDGE SUTHERLAND’S RULING: A STEP FORWARD BUT INADEQUATE FOR FATHERS’ RIGHTS

Deputy Judge President Roland Sutherland, in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Johannesburg, recently declared that fathers are entitled to similar rights as mothers regarding maternity leave. He highlighted sections of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, stating they unfairly discriminate against mothers, fathers, surrogates, and adopting parents concerning ‘maternity leave.’

Incremental Progress, Yet Far From Equality

Despite the positive sentiment expressed by Official Fathers 4 Justice South Africa, the acknowledgment of fathers’ rights in the ruling is considered a step in the right direction but falls short of creating true equality. Fathers continue to face treatment akin to second-class citizens in South Africa, while mothers possess rights exceeding constitutional provisions.

Imbalance and Systemic Biases

Fathers 4 Justice asserts that the South African justice system favors mothers, leading to deliberate abuses of fathers’ constitutional, financial, and economic rights. This bias not only affects fathers but unilaterally impairs the rights of South African children, attributing to a system that appears to endorse a one-sided approach, diminishing the well-being of children.

Long Road to True Equality

Gary Da Silva, chairman of Official Fathers 4 Justice, cautiously welcomes the ruling but emphasizes that genuine equality is far from realization. True equality would entail automatically shared 50/50 contact, care, guardianship, and maintenance of their child from birth. Until such equality is achieved, the biased government, justice system, and social structure may perpetuate the abuse of children and fathers.

The recent ruling by Judge Sutherland, though a positive step in acknowledging paternal rights, underscores the significant distance yet to be covered before fathers are on equal footing in South Africa

The Court Ruling

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Persverklaring: The Official Fathers 4 Justice South Africa

30 Oktober 2023

Embargo: Geen

Opsomming = Grondmerkhofuitspraak verleen aan vaders gelyke kraamverlofregte – ‘n stap na gelykheid en regverdigheid

REGTER SUTHERLAND SE BESLISSING: ‘N STAP VORENTOE, MAAR ONVOLDOENDE VIR VADERS SE REGTE

Adjunk-regter-president Roland Sutherland, in die Gauteng-afdeling van die hooggeregshof in Johannesburg, het onlangs verklaar dat vaders geregtig is op soortgelyke regte as moeders ten opsigte van kraamverlof. Hy het gedeeltes van die Wet op Basiese Diensvoorwaardes uitgelig en verklaar dat hulle onregverdig diskrimineer teen moeders, pa’s, surrogate en aannemende ouers rakende ‘kraamverlof’.

Inkrementele Vordering, Maar Tog Ver Van Gelykheid

Ten spyte van die positiewe sentiment wat deur Official Fathers 4 Justice South Africa uitgespreek word, word die erkenning van vader se regte in die uitspraak as ‘n stap in die regte rigting beskou, maar skiet dit nie daarin om ware gelykheid te skep nie. Vaders word steeds behandel wat soortgelyk is aan tweedeklasburgers in Suid-Afrika, terwyl moeders regte besit wat grondwetlike bepalings oorskry.

Wanbalans En Sistemiese Vooroordele

Fathers 4 Justice beweer dat die Suid-Afrikaanse regstelsel moeders bevoordeel, wat lei tot doelbewuste misbruik van vaders se grondwetlike, finansiële en ekonomiese regte. Hierdie vooroordeel raak nie net vaders nie, maar benadeel eensydig die regte van Suid-Afrikaanse kinders, wat toegeskryf word aan ‘n stelsel wat blykbaar ‘n eensydige benadering onderskryf, wat die welstand van kinders verminder.

Lang Pad Na Ware Gelykheid

Gary Da Silva, voorsitter van Official Fathers 4 Justice, verwelkom die uitspraak versigtig, maar beklemtoon dat ware gelykheid nog lank nie verwesenlik is nie. Ware gelykheid sal outomaties gedeelde 50/50 kontak, versorging, voogdyskap en onderhoud behels. Totdat sulke gelykheid bereik word, kan die bevooroordeelde regering, regstelsel en sosiale struktuur die mishandeling van kinders en vaders voortduur.

Die onlangse uitspraak deur regter Sutherland, hoewel ‘n positiewe stap in die erkenning van vaderlike regte, beklemtoon die aansienlike afstand wat nog afgelê moet word voordat vaders op gelyke voet in Suid-Afrika is.

The Court Ruling

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