Say a cracking goodbye to the wooden spoon

The South African Constitution provides an extensive Bill of Rights protecting the rights of all South Africans. Notwithstanding the fact that the values underlying the Constitution envisage a parent-child relationship as one excluding all forms of violence, South African parents have until recently been allowed to inflict physical harm on their children for disciplinary purposes. After the recent South Gauteng High Court judgment, this is no longer the position. Consequently, children’s underlying democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom are not allowed to be undermined. The judgment arose from an appeal by a father who had been found guilty of beating his minor child in a manner that exceeded the bounds of reasonable chastisement. Now, parents who give their children a hiding cannot use the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’…
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