Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949

ACT

To prohibit marriages between Europeans and non-Europeans, and to provide for matters incidental thereto.

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(English text signed by the Governor-General.)

(Assented to 1st July, 1949.)

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BE IT ENACTED by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows:―

1. (1) As from the date of commencement of this Act a marriage between a European and a non-European may not be solemnized, and any such marriage solemnized in contravention of the provisions of this section shall be void and of no effect: Provided that— (a) any such marriage shall be deemed to be valid, if— (i) it has been solemnized in good faith by a marriage officer, and neither of the parties concerned, or any other person in collusion with one or the other of them, has made any false statement relating to the said marriage amounting to a contravention of section four; and (ii) any party to such marriage professing to be a European or a non-European, as the case may be, is in appearance obviously what he professes to be, or is able to show, in the case of a party professing to be a European, that he habitually consorts with Europeans as a European, or in the case of a party professing to be a non-European, that he habitually consorts with non-Europeans as a non-European; (b) where any such marriage has been solemnized in good faith by a marriage officer, any children born or conceived of such marriage before it has been declared by a competent court to be invalid, shall be deemed to be legitimate. (2) If any male person who is domiciled in the Union enters into a marriage outside the Union which cannot be solemnized in the Union in terms of sub-section (1), then such marriage shall be void and of no effect in the Union.

2. Any marriage officer who knowingly performs a marriage ceremony between a European and a non-European shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

3. Any person who is in appearance obviously a European or a non-European, as the case may be, shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be such, unless and until the contrary is proved.

4. Any person who makes a false statement to a marriage officer, relating to the question whether any party seeking to have his marriage solemnized by such marriage officer is a European or a non-European, knowing such statement to be false, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to the penalties prescribed by law for the crime of perjury.

5. This Act shall be called the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949.

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