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What a time to be a live for the 2000s.

On Wednesday the Constitutional Court handed down the judgement declaring that common law defence of moderate and reasonable chastisement is constitutionally invalid.

This follows the leave to appeal against the High Court’s initial 2017 judgement that ruled that it was wrong to ‘spank’ a child after a man was convicted for assaulting his 13year-old son.

In a statement released by the Constitutional Court they said that chastisement is a violation of rights.

“the child’s rights not to be discriminated against on the bases of age; equal protection of the law; dignity”

The court mentioned there should be a balance struck between freedom of religion and children’s rights.

This is after some parents argued that their religion allowed for chastisement.

In a unanimous judgement handed down by Chief Justice Mogoeng, he said that there are other methods of punishing children.

“Children may still be disciplined without resorting to moderate or reasonable chastisement, less restrictive means to achieve discipline are available.”

There has also been evidence that was shared in court that children who are subjected to chastisement are likely to be violent people in society.

However Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) who were appealing the High Court’s decision said that the Con Court’s ruling is “disturbing”.

“It sets as very dangerous precedent in that the State can dictate to people of faith how to read and live out the Scriptures, thereby seriously eroding their right to religious freedom”, said FOR SA attorney Daniela Ellerbeck.

South Africans had mixed reactions as some took to social media to share their views.

Matshidiso Tsolo

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