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

HRC Tells Church to Stop Preaching “Offensive” Scriptures

In 2013, an atheist couple laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against Joshua Generation Church (“JoshGen”), a well-known church in the Western and Southern Cape. The couple’s complaint was not based on any actual incident of child abuse, but...

Submissions

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Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASE: ACDP MP says ban on spanking is a bad idea

African Christian Democratic Party 27 January 2016 ACDP Parliament Media Statement Cheryllyn Dudley, MP & Whip ACDP says attempts to equate abuse and violence with reasonable chastisement or a spanking are disingenuous criminalising spanking does not achieve...

Policies & Laws

Children’s Act No. 38 of 2005

The Department of Social Development (DSD) is currently in the process of formulating amendments to the Children’s Act, that will ban corporal punishment in the home context. The current Children's Act attached, download below.   [button...

Issue Archives

Corporal Punishment Document Library

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