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.


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

A European Worldview Forced Onto a South African Reality

Michael Swain, Executive Director of FOR SA draws on current events in Norway to show how a legally-entrenched secular humanist worldview affects citizens. South Africans should be concerned about moves to start entrenching this foreign worldview into laws that will...


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Media Releases

PRESS RELEASE – FOR SA Appeals “Spanking Judgement”

PRESS RELEASE :10 November 2017 For immediate distribution FOR SA APPEALS “SPANKING JUDGMENT” On Thursday, 9 November 2017, Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) filed an application for leave to appeal against the recent judgment by the Johannesburg High Court...

Policies & Laws

DSD’s Amendments to the 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. Proposed amendments attached, download below.   [button...

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