Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he will take action against departmental officials who dictate to women which surnames to choose after marriage.
This follows a report that a woman was asked at Home Affairs, if she had her husband or father’s permission for her to keep her maiden name.
Motsoaledi says this practice has no place in a democracy. He says a circular to this effect was issued to all Home Affairs offices three years ago to educate staff members.
“They have got no business doing that. If there are any officials of Home Affairs doing that, I can say it is wrong and they must give us the documents so we can follow up; because we need to correct that official. If he is doing it deliberately, then appropriate action will be taken. They have no business to decide who takes what surname. It’s your choice. It’s a choice of individuals, as long as they comply with the law.”
Motsoaledi says the department is re-issuing the department’s directives regulating the registration of the spouses’ surnames that are chosen in a legal marriage.
He says spouses have a variety of choices. “So what we have decided after yesterday’s (Wednesday) story is that we will reissue the secular that was issued three years ago. But on the other hand, if there are those who are doing it deliberately…and I will be surprised what is in it for them.”
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