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UKZN Luthuli Lecture Examines Customary Law In The SA Legal System



UKZN Luthuli Lecture Examines Customary Law In The SA Legal System

UKZN Luthuli Lecture Examines Customary Law In The SA Legal System. The 17th Annual Chief Albert Luthuli Memorial Lecture, hosted by UKZN in collaboration with various partners, delved into the significance of customary law within the framework of the South African legal system. Themed “Customary Law in the South African Legal System: The Role of the Courts, the Legislature and Civil Society,” the lecture aimed to honor Luthuli’s legacy while addressing contemporary legal issues.

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Key Insights: Insights from the UKZN Luthuli Lecture

  • Celebrating Luthuli’s Legacy: The lecture, chaired by renowned broadcaster Mr Peter Ndoro, highlighted Nkosi Albert Luthuli’s pivotal role in the liberation struggle and emphasized the urgency of advancing his vision for a just society.
  • Preservation Efforts: Acting Deputy Director of DSAC Mr Irwin Langeveld underscored the importance of preserving historical heritage sites and initiatives, including the Luthuli Legacy Project’s various components.
  • Customary Law Challenges: Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo, in his keynote address, explored challenges surrounding customary law, particularly in the realms of marriage and inheritance rights. He emphasized the need for clarity and consistency in legal interpretation.
  • Judicial Role: Nhlapo lauded the judiciary, including the Constitutional Court, for defending and promoting customary law through landmark judgments that uphold citizens’ rights.
  • Legislative Imperatives: Nhlapo urged Parliament to play a pivotal role in preserving and embedding customary law in the legal system, highlighting challenges and suggesting corrective measures.


The UKZN Luthuli Lecture provided a platform for in-depth discourse on the role of customary law in South Africa’s legal landscape. Acknowledging Luthuli’s enduring legacy, speakers and attendees alike reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding and promoting traditional legal principles within a modern constitutional democracy.

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