Discussing family matters
- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA - April 2018
Just five months ago South Africa said goodbye to an era in which parents were allowed to inflict corporal punishment as a means of discipline.
This subject hit the hearts of parents so hard that the news is still trending and still viciously debated online. The Christian community disputes the elimination of this law especially, since it opposes the bible.
Taking a closer a look at this, it should be noted that it has always been the crime of assault to hit a child...even your own. However, in the instance that a parent was charged, the parent had a special defence, which said that if the chastisement was reasonable they would not be found guilty. It was that special defence that this judgement has removed, through the development of the common law, to bring it in line with the constitution.
It was decided that Reasonable Chastisement is not in line with the constitution and childrens rights.
It should further be noted that the elimination of this law came about after a father beat up his thirteen year old son and claimed reasonable chastisement.
The courts stated that it aimed to enforce violence prevention in South Africa and instead encourage healthier options to discipline children.
South Africa is not the first African country to abolish corporal punishment and now stand next to many other African countries in the pursuit to stop child abuse, child violence and adequately honour the constitution and childrens rights.
For further information on this subject please consult one of our family attorneys.