Spanking your kids at home is now illegal
Recent Constitutional Court Judgement: Spanking your kids at home is now illegal
In 2017, a High Court judgment outlawed corporal punishment in private homes. This ruling was upheld by the Constitutional Court on 18 September 2019.
The High Court ruling was brought on appeal by a civil society group, Freedom of Religion South Africa (For SA). For SA requested that the Constitutional Court find that the High Court ruling was wrong in abolishing a parents’ defence of reasonable and moderate chastisement, and thus set aside the judgment.
Children’s rights group, The Children’s Institute favoured the High Court ruling and stated that the ruling was a clear victory for children’s rights and the end to the neglect of children’s rights.
There has been an abundance of debate around this ruling which has been circulating on social media. Many argue that the ruling is ludicrous and would increase an already growing problem in South Africa of rude, disrespectful and over entitled children. Others argue (on the other hand) that a compelling counter argument has been that spanking is not synonymous with discipline and the Con Court ruling is correct in light of the movement in South Africa against gender based violence and child abuse.
Whatever your stance is on corporal punishment, the law now states that spanking your children is illegal and thus a parent doing so will be prosecuted and the charge could likely be for assault if convicted. The result of this would mean that convicted parents would have a record for abuse, or their children could be removed from the family home.
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