File: A 2016 bill condemning physical punishment of children was struck down by the Constitutional Council.
JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has ruled that it is illegal for parents to smack their children in their homes.
The court has upheld the South Gauteng High Court's 2017 ruling against corporal punishment in the home.
The high court struck down the defence of reasonable chastisement, saying physical discipline violates children's rights.
Freedom of Religion South Africa challenged the ruling, saying while it does not promote abuse, parents should have the right to raise their children according to their religious beliefs.
The Constitutional Court prohibited corporal punishment in detention in 1995 and in schools in 2000.
The ruling against corporal punishment in the home was unanimous.