South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi has said he oversaw the reversal of 553 false marriages in 2022, The Star reported.
The majority of these cases involve illegal immigrants from other countries who marry South Africans in order to get legal residency in the country.
In response to questions tabled in Parliament by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)’s Petros Sithole, Motsoaledi said 553 fraudulent marriages had been reversed since January 1, 2022. He said most of the fraudulent marriages involved foreign nationals marrying South Africans for convenience purposes.
Motsoaledi said the government was introducing a new marriage register form (DHA-30) which required photographs and thumbprints of the couple for verification purposes. He said:
The department requires prospective couples to make an appointment with the nearest front office to verify their marital status and to subject themselves for brief interviews prior to registration of the marriage.
Couples are thereby encouraged to seek legal advice regarding the benefits and disadvantages of accepting marriage, regardless of it being to a foreigner.
According to the department, on the day of the marriage a couple must present the following documents to the person officiating at the ceremony:
1). Identity documents (of both people).
2). Valid passport as well as a completed BI-31 form (Declaration for the Purpose of Marriage, letter of no impediment, for non-South Africans marrying South Africans, to confirm that he/she is not married in the country of origin).
3). If a minor is getting married, written consent is needed in the form of a DHA32 filled in by both parents/legal guardians or a DHA34 form from the Commissioner of Child Welfare or a judge.
4). In the case where the marriage is between minors under the age of 18 (boys) or 15 (girls), written consent from the Minister of Home Affairs is also required.
5). If either of the people who are getting married are divorced, the final decree of divorce should be provided.
6). If either of them is widowed, the deceased spouse’s death certificate must be submitted.