Assoc Prof Fatima Osman


Dr Fatima Osman (Associate Professor in Private Law) lectures the Law of Succession and African Customary Law.

Research & Teaching

Her research interests include customary law, succession and legal pluralism.


F OsmanMshengu v Estate Late Mshengu 9223/2016P: Considering the ownership of house property in customary law’ 56(1) 2023 De Jure 13-24.

F Osman and M Baase ‘The recognition of same-sex customary marriages under South African customary law’ (38) 2022 South African Journal of Human Rights 1-23.

F Osman and G Effendi "King v De Jager: Implications for Religion Based Discrimination in Wills" PER / PELJ 2022 (25)

F Osman ‘Splitting hairs: Bwanya v the Master’ 2021 138(3) SALJ 521-534.

F Osman ‘Comment on the Single Marriage Statute: Implications for Customary Marriages, Polygynous Marriages and Life Partnerships’ 2021(24) PELJ.

F Osman ‘The omission of the opt out clause: The revised and improved Traditional Courts Bill 2017’ 2020 (2) South African Crime Quarterly 69-79.

F Osman ‘Family Formations in Contemporary South Africa: Does South African Marriage Law Protect Lived Realities?’ 2020 (34) International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 272-288.

F Osman ‘The Recognition of Customary Marriages Amendment Bill: Much ado about nothing’ 2020 137(3) South African Law Journal 389-407.

F Osman ‘Precedent, waiver and the constitutional analysis of handing over the bride [discussion of Sengadi v Tsambo 2018 JDR 2151 (GJ)]’ 2020 31(1) Stellenbosch Law Review 80-90.

F Osman ‘The consequences of the statutory regulation of customary law: An examination of the South African customary law of succession and marriage’ 2019 (22) PELJ 1-24.

F Osman ‘The million rand question: Does a civil marriage automatically dissolve the parties’ customary marriage?’ 2019 (22) PELJ 1-25.

Fatima Osman ‘The ascertainment of living customary law: an analysis of the South African Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence’ 2019 Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 1-16.

F Osman and J Wilke ‘Dress Codes in Schools: A Tale of Headscarves and Hairstyles’ 2018 39(3) Obiter 585-601.

F Osman, ‘Third time a charm? The Traditional Courts Bill 2017’ South African Crime Quarterly June 2018 (64) 45-53.

F Osman and C Himonga ‘The constitutionality of s 7(1) of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act: Ramhovhi v President of the Republic of South Africa’ 2017 49 (2) The Journal of Legal Pluralism 166-182.

F Osman ‘Ascertainment of customary law: case note on MM v MN’ (2017) 31/1 SAPL 240-246.

F Osman ‘Legislative prohibitions on wearing a headscarf: Are they justified?’ 2014 (17)4 Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal 1323.


Book Chapters


F Osman and R Denson ‘Religious marriages’ in A Barratt (ed) Law of Persons and the Family 3ed (2023, Maskew Miller Learning).

F Osman and A Barratt ‘Customary marriages’ in A Barratt (ed) Law of Persons and the Family 3ed (2023, Maskew Miller Learning).

C Rautenbach and F Osman ‘Law of succession and inheritance’ in C Rautenbach Introduction to Legal Pluralism in South Africa (3rd ed) (2022, LexisNexis South Africa).

F Osman ‘Negotiation of inheritance rights by widows: A case study in rural South Africa’ in E Moore Generation, Power and Custom in Families (2022, Routledge).

D Chirwa and F Osman ‘Taming the "Uncivilized" ?: Constitutional and Other Complexities of Banning the Burkini and Other Muslim Dress in Africa’ in Regueiro et al Cultural Anthropology of Clothing: Perspectives on the Burkini (2018, Dykinson).

F Osman and A Barratt ‘Customary marriages’ in A Barratt (ed) Law of Persons and the Family 2ed (2017, Pearson South Africa).

Book notices

F Osman Book review Law of Succession by MJ de Waal and MC Schoeman-Malan (2015) SALJ 2016 133(4) 933.

F Osman Book review Deceased Estates by W Abrie and B de Clercq et al (2015) SALJ 2016 133(4) 931.