My mother and aunts were literally glued to the screen during the broadcasting of Lerato Sengadi's urgent application to be recognised as Jabba's lawful customary wife and for his remains to be returned to her.
There wasn't much debate, my mother and my aunts were resolute that no marriage took place. At some point when counsel was making oral submissions, my mother proclaimed: "Let us see the kist!"
This is because, in terms of custom of the Batswana, a married woman receives a kist as a gift from her family to take to her matrimonial home, signifying that she is married.
My family were resolute that custom had to be observed in order to conclude a marriage, and that they too would reject Sengadi in a heartbeat.
Another major factor for the women was that ilobolo was not even paid in full, meaning to them that the negotiations had not even been concluded.
The women were resolute, Sengadi was no bride, but a fiancée. And so when the judge made his order, my entire family was shocked.
My mother said in disappointment that customary law was being distorted and I realised that we need more clarity regarding the legalities of customary marriages.
As far as detailing what the legal requirements of a successful customary marriage are in terms of the Recognition of Customary Marriage Act (RCMA), the court was correct. The Act requires that parties must be above the age of 18 years and must consent.