(in chronological order, starting with most recent):

Government Policies and Legislation:

Succesfully Finalised:

  • Draft Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (WEGE):
    • FOR SA successfully made submissions for the amendment of the Bill, so as to protect religious freedom and the autonomy of the Church.
    • The Bill was subsequently withdrawn by the Minister.

Pending:

  • Proposed amendments to the Children’s Act, making it illegal for parents to spank their children
    • Towards the end of 2013, signatures of leaders representing 8 million people in South Africa were collected to keep the current law (allowing for the “reasonable chastisement” of children by their parents) in tact.
    • Submissions in this regard have been prepared by FOR SA but not yet handed in, as the Department of Social Development (DSD) has since advised that efforts to change the law (which would have commenced in June 2014) have been postponed to 2015/16.

Other policies and legislation that are in the pipeline, and that FOR SA is keeping its eye on:

  • Draft Policy on Homeschooling
  • Hate Speech Bill

Legal Cases:

Succesfully Finalised:

  • SAHRC v Rev OP Bougardt (Equality Court, Cape High Court)
    • The SAHRC instituted a R1 million claim for damages against pastor Bougardt, alleging discriminatory / hate speech against persons practicing homosexuality.
    • The Court referred the matter for mediation, where pastor Bougardt explained that, although he cannot and will never compromise on what the Bible teaches, he will be more careful in future as to how he communicates this and will make sure to always do so in love.
    • The matter was therewith concluded.
  • L Brown-Waterson v Kilcairn, Riebeek Valley (SAHCR)
    • A complaint of unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, was laid against this wedding venue.
    • The complaint was subsequently withdrawn, and the case dropped by the SAHRC.

*Two other wedding venues, namely Beloftebos and Sha-mani , were both threatened with complaints of unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but were not proceeded with.

Pending:

  • OGOD v Laerskool Randhart & 5 Others (Johannesburg High Court)
    • A secular group by the name of OGOD, has instituted legal proceedings against six public schools who hold themselves out to be “Christian schools”.
    • The schools have asked for an extension of the date by which they have to deliver their Answering Affidavits, after which OGOD will have an opportunity to reply thereto. Once both parties have delivered their Heads of Argument (legal arguments that they will make to the Court), the matter will be enrolled for hearing.
    • In the circumstances, the matter will only be ready for hearing next year some time.
    • FOR SA is considering joining the legal proceedings as Amicus Curiae.
  • J Izaaks v J Downs (SAHRC)
    • The Complainant alleges that the Chairperson of the ACDP breached his right of equality, when she expressed the ACDP’s (and her personal) views with regard to the practice of homosexuality during an e-TV interview on Mr Gay World in 2012.
    • Ms Downs has delivered a written response to the complaint, and is awaiting a response / the outcome from the SAHRC.
  • NJ Coulson v S & M Neethling (Equality Court, Bellville Magistrate’s Court)
    • A complaint of unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, was laid against this bed and breakfast in Wolseley.
    • FOR SA, acting as Amicus Curiae, successfully asked the Court to refer the matter for mediation.
    • Despite various requests on the part of the bed and breakfast owners to meet with the Complainant, he has not (yet) come to the party.
  • S Raymond v Oakfield Farm, Roodepoort (CGE)
    • A complaint of unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, was laid against this wedding venue.
    • Oakfield Farm sent a written response to the CGE, but has not heard from the Commission again.

NOTE:  The above list is not an exhaustive list of the cases brought against pastors, Christian ministries and businesses during 2014, but only records the cases in which FOR SA was involved.

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