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South Africa has Ruled that Spanking Children is Now Unconstitutional

The judgement was unanimous.

Back in 2017, the South African High Court ruled that it was illegal for parents or guardians to spank their children i.e. use corporal punishment in the home setting. The ruling arose after a father allegedly beat his 13-year-old son "in a manner that exceeded the bounds of reasonable chastisement". Today, the Constitutional Court has upheld the High Court's 2017 ruling and declared that the spanking of children is a violation of the constitution.


Groups such as the Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) have, in the past, fought to have the High Court's ruling set aside citing that there is a "clear distinction between such chastisement and abuse and parents should be allowed to apply "reasonable" and "moderate" chastisement on their children."

READ: Spanking is now legally assault in South Africa—it's about time.

The Constitutional Court's ruling, which was drafted by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, has come during a time where gender-based violence and violence towards children has experienced an alarming surge in the past weeks. What the ruling itself means is that parents or guardians who are accused of assault after spanking their children, can no longer invoke the common law defense of reasonable chastisement. The ruling further paves the way for the development of actual laws criminalizing the act of spanking.

Children's rights activists and groups as well as organisations such as the University of Pretoria's Center for Child Law have welcomed the ruling.

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The 10 Best HHP Songs Ranked

On the second anniversary of HHP's passing, we rank 10 of the South African hip-hop legend's best songs.

Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known by his alias HHP, was a pivotal part of South African hip-hop. Renowned for trailblazing the motswako sub-genre in the early 2000s, the rapper sadly passed away on October 24th, 2018 after a long and much publicised bout with depression.

During his active years, which span two decades (from 1997 to 2018), he was instrumental in breaking barriers and bridging the gap between kwaito and hip-hop in SA, from the late 90s to early 2000s.

He became a household name in the 2000s as he spearheaded the motswako movement, propelling it to the mainstream and solidifying his legendary status in the process.

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