Smacking your child is officially illegal in SA now…. Your thoughts?

The Constitution, Children’s Act and our criminal law have always protected children against corporal punishment.

What exactly is corporal punishment? Any punishment in which physical force is used and means to cause pain or discomfort – that, in short, is the definition by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. That means grabbing a kid by the ear or pinching a thigh too. To learn more, read Is spanking ever okay?

Any form of hitting or “6 of the best” has been banned in schools for 21 years. The South African Schools Act (1996), Section 10(1), states: “No person may administer corporal punishment at a school to a learner.” Contravene this and you may be charged with assault. The act goes further to prohibit psychological abuse too.

The situation was different at home, however. While the criminal law labelled smacking a child, whether yours or someone else’s, as assault, a parent could plead the special defence of moderate or reasonable chastisement if taken to court.

In this now-defunct defence, the following factors were considered: the nature of the child’s transgression, the motive of the parent, the force and object used to mete out punishment, as well as the age, gender and size of the child.

No more reasonable chastisement

In a ground-breaking ruling in the Gauteng High Court yesterday, Judge Raylene Keightley put an end to that, reported the M&G. Saying, “The common law defence of reasonable chastisement is unconstitutional and no longer applies in our law,” she ruled that if you could be charged with assault if you acted in a certain way toward another adult, that same act against your child can now land you in court too.

Judge Keightley was very clear in that she didn’t intend for parents to land behind bars, however, but instead for parents to find alternative methods of discipline, and for the state to help and refer parents to appropriate intervention systems.

This specific ruling was made in the case of YG, a religious man who assaulted his son and wife after finding porn on his iPad. His reasonable chastisement defence was rejected by Judge Keightley – the first time in a South African case, drawing a very clear line in the sand.

But… what if I’m religious?

Judge Keightley made it clear that she was not ruling against disciplining children, but rather against corporal punishment, or as it’s now to be understood, physical assault.

“The removal of the defence will not prevent religious believers from disciplining their children,” Judge Keightley said. “It is so that they may have to consider changing their mode of discipline, but in view of the importance of the principle of the best interests of the child, this is a justifiable limitation on the rights of parents.

“This is a case where I am satisfied that it is permissible to require religious parents who believe in corporal punishment to be expected to obey the secular laws,” she continued, “rather than permitting them to place their religious beliefs above the best interests of their children.”

It comes as no surprise. The amendment to the law has been advocated for a number of years, and was expected to be pushed through in 2016 already.

Even in 2000, when some Christian parents felt that prohibiting corporal punishment at Christian schools violated their constitutional rights to practice their religion, the court refused to give certain schools exception, even on the basis of religion.

Though the specific court case of YG dealt with severe abuse – the boy had bruising on his legs, for example – any physical punishment will now be considered abuse. Some parents may consider a quick spank on the backside or a flick of the wrist on a child’s outstretched hand as gentler. But the problem is that with SA’s high stats of violence, domestic abuse and PTSD, who is to say even a gentle parent can’t “lose” it one day and go too far? Where is the line?

The line has been drawn in the sand: no physical pain, no psychological humiliation.

Alternative ways to discipline

Not all parents who align with a traditional religion such as Christianity and Islam, feel the need to discipline their children through hidings. Smacking was always a no-brainer, until people started questioning whether there aren’t other ways to discipline a child – in line with your family’s values and, frankly, to the benefit of society. Just as eating meat every day or taking baths were taken for granted until we realised the world we live in today cannot afford that any longer.

Here are some articles with other ways to discipline a child with great success:

Of course, it helps to start with loving boundaries very early on in the child’s life. But I’m reminded of the British TV series “The World’s Strictest Parents” in which unruly teens – kids with serious behavioural problems – were sent to live with very strict families on a different continent. Of course there were blow-ups initially, but usually by the end of the stint, the kids responded to firm boundaries underpinned by love and respect. No canings. The change we saw was often remarkable.

It may need a complete mind-shift for some parents, especially those who always say, “Well, I got hidings as a child and I’m fine today.” But the law is the law. Let’s rather work together in finding solutions to lead our kids by example, teach kindness, lay down firm boundaries and offer unconditional love.

Please follow and like us:

106 thoughts on “Smacking your child is officially illegal in SA now…. Your thoughts?

  1. Αfter Ι originally left a comment I appeаr to have clicked on the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every timе a comment is addеd I get
    four emɑils with the same comment. Perhaps there is a
    way you are able to remove me from thаt service? Cheers!

  2. I am really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog audience have complained about my site not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

  3. With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.

  4. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. However think about if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this site could certainly be one of the most beneficial in its field. Awesome blog!

  5. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog
    article or vice-versa? My website discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each
    other. If you happen to be interested feel free to send me
    an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Superb blog by the way!

  6. I do not even understand how I ended up right here, however I thought this submit was once good.
    I do not know who you might be but definitely you’re going to a well-known blogger in the
    event you are not already. Cheers!

  7. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish
    be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same
    nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  8. ロレックスコピー激安,ロレックスデイトナスーパーコピー代引き,スーパーコピー n級, ロレックスデイトナコピー,ロレックス コピー レプリカ,デイトナ スーパーコピー,スーパーコピーn級品,ブランド 時計

  9. This is the right site for anyone who would like to understand this topic.
    You understand so much its almost tough to argue with
    you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for ages.
    Wonderful stuff, just great!

  10. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you should publish more on this topic,
    it might not be a taboo subject but typically
    people do not speak about these subjects. To the next!

    Kind regards!!

  11. Great weblog right here! Also your web site quite a bit up
    very fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your
    associate hyperlink on your host? I desire my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  12. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo
    News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

  13. I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter
    service. Do you’ve any? Kindly allow me realize so that I may just subscribe.

  14. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a weblog website?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I have been a little bit familiar of
    this your broadcast offered vibrant clear concept

  15. I have been browsing online more than three hours today, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It’s beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the web will probably be much more useful than ever before. “Learn to see in another’s calamity the ills which you should avoid.” by Publilius Syrus.

  16. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  17. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment.

    I do believe that you ought to publish more on this topic, it might not be
    a taboo matter but typically folks don’t discuss
    these topics. To the next! Kind regards!!

  18. I do trust all of the concepts you have offered to your post.
    They’re really convincing and will definitely work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very short for starters.
    May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time?

    Thanks for the post.

  19. This is the right webpage for anyone who really wants to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been written about for years.
    Great stuff, just great!

  20. Right here is the right webpage for anyone who wants
    to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been discussed for a long time.

    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  21. Attractive component of content. I just stumbled upon your site
    and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your weblog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing for your augment or even I achievement you get right of entry to
    consistently rapidly.

  22. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve be aware
    your stuff prior to and you are just too excellent.
    I actually like what you’ve obtained right here, certainly like what you’re saying and
    the way wherein you are saying it. You are making it enjoyable
    and you still take care of to stay it wise. I can not wait to learn much more from you.
    That is actually a terrific web site.

  23. Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person’s web
    site link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar
    for you.

  24. Link exchange is nothing else except it is simply placing the other person’s
    website link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do similar in support of you.

  25. Excellent blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid
    option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
    Any suggestions? Thank you!

  26. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a weblog site?
    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I have been a little bit
    acquainted of this your broadcast provided vibrant clear idea

  27. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills
    and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme
    or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

  28. This is the right site for everyone who would like to understand this topic.
    You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with
    you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put
    a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for decades.
    Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  29. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?

    I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and
    would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my viewers would enjoy your work. If you
    are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  30. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very useful info specially the closing section 🙂 I maintain such info much.
    I used to be seeking this particular information for
    a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  31. Somebody necessarily help to make seriously articles I might state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and so far?
    I surprised with the research you made to make this actual put up incredible.

    Great process!

  32. Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send
    this post to him. Fairly certain he will have
    a great read. Thank you for sharing!

  33. I think everything published made a bunch of sense.
    However, what about this? suppose you were to create
    a awesome headline? I am not saying your content isn’t solid, but
    what if you added a headline that grabbed folk’s attention? I mean Smacking your
    child is officially illegal in SA now…. Your thoughts?

    is a little boring. You ought to glance at Yahoo’s front page
    and see how they create article titles to get viewers to
    open the links. You might add a related video or a pic or two to grab people excited about what you’ve got to say.
    Just my opinion, it could make your website a little livelier.

  34. I like the helpful info you provide for your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.

    I’m slightly sure I’ll be informed a lot of new stuff right here!

    Good luck for the following!

  35. constantly i used to read smaller content that
    as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *