DIVORCE is a traumatic experience at the best of times. We can only shudder at the thought of what the effect could be of learning that you are divorced from the person you thought all along to be married to.
The story in yesterday's Sowetan about how corrupt government departments are helping unscrupulous men terminate their marriages and sometimes continue enjoying all the benefits and rights of being married are therefore too vile for words.
Most human societies have from time immemorial regarded marriage as a sacred institution. They have also acknowledged that it is also one of the most difficult and therefore put mechanisms in place to be followed should they need to be terminated.
Our laws go a step further to ensure that marriages born of such unions are protected and their best interests taken care of in the event of such a divorce. The criminals, and by that we include the shameless men and women who buy and sell these services, could not be bothered by what they would regard as mere niceties.
The thugs, who for a fistful of rands, are running roughshod over such an institution, whether by fake marriages or bogus divorces, do not only offend those women in those marriages but are an affront to all of us.
Ours is a society that has committed itself to gender justice and the protection of children. Unless state institutions are seen to be stamping out this cancer as embodied by our story, then our commitment will be mere empty talk.