By Adv Nadene Badenhorst, Legal Counsel of FOR SA
*NOTE that the deadline for comments on the draft Code of Conduct, has been extended to 21st May 2018.
The COGTA Parliamentary Portfolio Committee has decided (for now) not to adopt the CRL Rights Commission’s proposed recommendations for the regulation of religion. Instead, COGTA recommended (as unanimously requested by the religious community during the meetings before Parliament), that the religious community be granted an opportunity to come up with solutions by the religious community for the religious community, including a Code of Ethics.
Against this background, the SA Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms (who drafted the SA Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms that has been endorsed by all the major religions and faith groupings in South Africa) has prepared a draft Code of Conduct for Religions in South Africa for comment. The Code is really the “responsibility side” of the “rights and freedoms” already incorporated in the Charter. (The links to the draft Code, in Afrikaans and English, respectively, are found below.)
A link can also be found below of the letter by the Council, which explains the background of the draft Code of Conduct and requests input on the Code by 23 April 2018. Comments can be sent to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
It is of the utmost importance that religious leaders and communities engage in this process and give input on the Charter, in the hope to establish a consensus amongst ourselves as to the ethical and other responsibilities (in broad) that underlie our freedoms. Again, if we do not regulate ourselves, the State will have no option but to intervene!
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