FOR SA submitted a comprehensive response to the CRL (drafted together with the Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms) before the deadline for comments on 28 February. This submission represented over 25 million people from the South African faith community.
We subsequently heard that a meeting took place between the CRL and a group of pastors in Durban, so we immediately sent a follow-up letter to the CRL Rights Chairlady to enquire regarding the nature of the meeting and the status of the Report. We were then advised that this meeting was a “regional CRL meeting” and that no further reports were discussed. However, we have it on good authority that the CRL has prepared a revised report in which they are proposing amendments to the CRL Act that will (they believe) empower them to set up a structure to regulate religion in a way that is very similar to the one they proposed in their original report. (This report has not yet been released by the CRL, and is not yet in the public domain. A copy of the revised report will however be made available by FOR SA, as soon as we are in receipt thereof).
To recap: FOR SA’s position is that the CRL’s proposals to regulate religion as contained in its report, is unconstitutional, unworkable and unnecessary. A cornerstone of our argument is that the concerns identified by the CRL’s report can be simply addressed by enforcing the existing laws. Our argument was perfectly endorsed by the (final) order of the Limpopo High Court earlier this month, prohibiting the use of Doom insect repellent in “religious healing”. Legal Counsel for the Limpopo Department of Health who instituted the proceedings in the High Court, told the court that the government had obligations to protect unsuspecting citizens from harmful practices.
We recently met informally with the CRL Chairlady and some of the Commissioners and have requested a meeting with the CRL Rights Commission to discuss the status of the matter and ask for clarity on the way forward. Such meeting has now been confirmed for Wednesday, 26 April 2016, and we undertake to give feedback on the outcome of this meeting as soon as possible thereafter.
Rest assured that we remain vigilant and in contact with the CRL Rights Commission, with regard to these matters which are of the utmost importance to us, and will immediately advise you of any developments.
Support FOR SA
Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the freedoms and rights that the South African Constitution has granted to the faith community. You can help FOR SA protect our freedom by:
- Praying for us as we defend this precious freedom before government and courts of law;
- Signing up (at no cost) to FOR SA at https://forsa.org.za/contact-us/join-us/ andsubscribing to our Newsletter;
- Following us, and sharing our posts, on Facebook at “Freedom of Religion SA”;
- Informing us, should you become aware of any case in which religious freedom is threatened;
- Making a financial contribution to FOR SA at https://forsa.org.za/donate/ As a non-profit organisation, we are entirely dependent upon God’s grace for finances. Your generosity will help make a significant difference as we work to fulfil our mission to keep the Gospel free by advocating for religious freedom. We appreciate every gift, big or small!