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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:No Pleasure without Responsibility: Developments in the Law of Paternity of Out of Wedlock Children
Author:Ncube, WelshmanISNI
Periodical:The Zimbabwe Law Review
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:illegitimate children
customary law
Liability (Law)
Unmarried persons
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Abstract:In Zimbabwe, under Roman Dutch common law, both parents of an illegimate child have always had the duty to maintain their child. However, until 1982 the father of an illegitimate child had no duty to maintain his child under customary law. In 1982 the Customary Law and Primary Courts Act No. 6, 1981, was amended so that section 12(4)(b) authorized a community court, notwithstanding anything contained in customary law, to regard the father of a child as being primarily responsible for the maintenance of that child. This change in law, together with the establishment of community courts which were easily accessible to most people, allowed many women to mobilize the law of maintenance and obtain maintenance orders for their children. In a paternity suit a man who denies being the father of a child can take one of two positions: he can deny that he ever had sexual intercourse with the mother or he can admit that he had intercourse with her, but still deny being the father. Both positions are illustrated with a number of civil law cases. They show that when the alleged father denies having had sexual intercourse, the onus to prove that intercourse has taken place rests on the mother. If she discharges the onus, and in cases where the alleged father admits having had sexual intercourse with the mother, the man is presumed to be the father and the onus to rebut the presumption of paternity rests on him. Notes, ref.