The administration of corporal punishment to children is an archaic practice that has become obsolete, not only in the post-modern era, but within the current constitutional dispensation of South Africa. The Constitution seeks to protect the right to human dignity, bodily integrity, equality, freedom and security of all South African citizens. The administration of corporal punishment on any person clearly would amount to a violation of these fundamental constitutional values, which begs the question as to why corporal punishment to children is permitted. Corporal punishment in South African public life was officially abolished in 1997 by the commencement of the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 (SA Schools Act), the Correctional Services Second Amendment Act 79 of 1996 and the Abolition of Corporal Punishment Act 33 of 1997. The catalyst for this change in position through legislation was the case of S v Williams in 1995, where the court was called upon to judge on the administration of corporal punishment as a punishment for a crime. The Constitutional Court declared it unconstitutional to administer corporal punishment as the human rights to bodily integrity, human dignity and equality were infringed. This essay will strive to evaluate the future of the common-law defence of reasonable chastisement in light of the influence the Constitution may have for further development
2. Nature of the defence
Section 10 of the SA Schools Act was the provision under review in the case of Christian Education South Africa (SA) v Minister of Education. This provision stipulated that no person may administer corporal punishment at a school to a learner, applicable to both State funded and private schools. The court rej...
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...e development of this common law position and order the legislature to enact legislation that will give full effect to the rights of children.
Abolition of Corporal Punishment Act 33 of 1997.
Children’s Bill [B 19B-2006]
Correctional Services Second Amendment Act 79 of 1996
Minutes of Social Development Portfolio Committee: Children’s Amendment Bill, 23 October 2007
South African Schools Act 84 of 1996
H Kruger “The legal nature of parental authority” (2003) 66 THRHR 277-284
S Pete “To smack or not to smack? Should the law prohibit South African parents from imposing corporal punishment on their children?” (1998) SAJHR 430 - 460
Christian Education South Africa (SA) v Minister of Education 2000 (4) SA 757 (CC)
S v JB 2012 JDR 1040
S v Kunene and Another, Regional Division of Mpumalanga, Unreported Case No 131/10
S v Williams 1995 (3) SA 632 (CC)
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