Issues: Corporal Punishment

Parental corporal punishment is legal in South Africa. The common law holds that a parent may inflict moderate and reasonable chastisement.

The Department of Social Development (DSD) intends however to propose amendments to the Children’s Act, No. 38 of 2005 that will outlaw corporal punishment in the home context. As a result, parents who believe that it is their God-given responsibility in terms of the Bible (Prov 13:24; Heb 12:6-7 and others) to, at times and where needed but always in love, discipline their children by spanking them, will potentially face criminal prosecution. If found guilty of the crime of spanking, they will be fined or imprisoned even where no child abuse has occurred.

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A further option in terms of the Bill, is the referral of the child to a social worker for investigation, and the referral of the parent(s) who administered the corporal punishment for evaluation and treatment in the form of parenting programmes. Parents who refuse to submit to the liberal ideology of the parenting programmes, may well find their children being removed from them and placed in foster care (as is already happening in Europe).

News & Media

FOR SA Defends Parental and Religious Rights in the Concourt

On Thursday, 29 November, Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) appeared in the Constitutional Court to defend the rights of parents to raise their children in accordance with their moral or religious convictions. In particular, FOR SA asked the Court not to criminalise well-meaning parents who love their children and only want to do what is best for them, including reasonably and moderately chastising them at times when necessary, always in love.

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Policies & Laws

FOR SA Defends Parental and Religious Rights in the Concourt

On Thursday, 29 November, Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) appeared in the Constitutional Court to defend the rights of parents to raise their children in accordance with their moral or religious convictions. In particular, FOR SA asked the Court not to criminalise well-meaning parents who love their children and only want to do what is best for them, including reasonably and moderately chastising them at times when necessary, always in love.

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