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The Inkatha Freedom Party has expressed its satisfaction with the outcome of a court case which has given an unmarried father, Jose Williams, full parental rights of his young daughter, following a lengthy and expensive two year court battle.
"We welcome this landmark ruling which will - in line with the IFP's philosophy of strong family values and strong communities - promote the preservation and the strengthening of the family unit," said Pat Lebenya-Ntanzi, the IFP's spokesperson on women, youth and children.
The ruling, which was made in accordance with the new Children's Act, has gained significant ground for the rights of unmarried fathers.
"The IFP has always advocated that children should be with their parents or a parent, if possible. The ruling will now enable unmarried fathers to take full responsibility of their children without needing to adopt them; and we believe that this is in the best interest of the child," said Lebenya-Ntanzi.
Lebenya-Ntanzi added: "The IFP believes that children's rights come first and that the promotion of their well-being and the protection of their constitutional rights are of utmost importance. We are pleased to see that the new Children's Act is now fulfilling this mandate."