13 November 2017

South Africa: Spanking Ruling - Chastisement of a Child Does Not Equal Abuse, Argues Christian Organisation

analysis

Spanking a child has been declared illegal in South Africa, thanks to a high court ruling. But now the judgment is being challenged, with an organisattion filing leave to appeal in the hope that another court will come to a different conclusion. By PUSELETSO NTHATE.

On Thursday last week, Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA), a non-profit Christian Organisation, filed an application for leave to appeal against a recent judgment by the Johannesburg High Court that declared all physical chastisement of children by their parents to be illegal in South Africa.

The organisation is concerned that the judgment have the effect of criminalising good, well-intentioned parents who love their children. Despite the judgment of the Johannesburg High Court highlighting that this was not the point, FOR SA says the reality is that the removal of the reasonable chastisement defence means that any form of physical discipline of the child may fall within the legal definition of an assault.

The judgment came after an appeal by a father who was convicted of beating his 13-year-old son. The father accused his son of watching pornography.

The court ruled that the defence of reasonable chastisement was not in line with the Constitution...

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