Nelson Mandela

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Photo: Jairus Mmutle / GCIS

South Africa divided over ConCourt’s corporal punishment ruling

Parents could earn a criminal record if they are charged for abuse.

Nelson Mandela

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Photo: Jairus Mmutle / GCIS

The South African Constitutional Court passed a judgement on Wednesday and ruled that corporal punishment is now illegal in South African homes; Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng upheld a 2017 high court ruling.

Corporal punishment: Social media users have made lemonade out of lemons

The new law now declares any form of corporal punishment including the “good old hiding”, smacking, and any other form of physical grabbing during the disciplining of children, illegal. Social media users remain undefeated, as they have made lemonade out of lemons once again, as many are having a field day with the Concourt ruling, while others are bamboozled by the new law.

Social Development declares it “unconstitutional to chastise children

In Parliament on Wednesday, the Social Development Portfolio Committee welcomed the Constitutional Court’s ruling on corporal punishment at home, further stating that this is a victory for South Africa as it is “unconstitutional to chastise children”.

“Every year during dialogues with children and during the Children’s Parliament, children have been asking for their protection in this regard. They have been agreeing that they must be disciplined but do not want to be chastised.”

Social Development

Corporal punishment: What does the ruling mean if parents are found guilty?

The ruling has been steered by Freedom of Religion South Africa (For SA), who are dubbed as “friends of the Concourt” in a legal document released by the Constitutional Court.

According to the civil society group, the ruling would have parents prosecuted for assault if convicted; and parents could earn a criminal record by being charged for abuse, with a possibility of children being taken away from the family homestead if the court finds these parents guilty.

“The vulnerability of children, their rights to dignity and to have the paramountcy of their best interests upheld, as well as the availability of less restrictive means to achieve discipline, render moderate and reasonable chastisement unconstitutional.”

Constitutional Court

Corporal punishment: Many South Africans are still left divided regarding this ruling

Many social media users were left disgruntled and continued to oppose the Concourt ruling, despite the explicit measures presented for violating this newly established law.

“And they wonder why kids stabs and shot each other and teachers too. In my house we reject this ruling. Am not going to raise monsters to please some people in robes.”

Kanye Zwide

“In the past decade or so, corporal punishment was abolished in schools. Look how kids in primary schools are stabbing each other to death, and high schools it’s the teacher being killed. I got my hiding at school and I turned out perfectly zero violence tendencies.”

Lecake Koekemoer

“I don’t condone hitting your kids, and nobody really cares about what I condone or not. But this is the biggest waste of time I’ve ever seen. This ruling literally, and I can’t stress this enough, won’t have any impact on anyone’s behaviour, anywhere.”

Sloo Phaho