Law expert: spanking ruling sets dangerous precedent

The Constitutional Court has ruled that it's illegal for parents to smack their children, saying it violates children’s rights. Courtsey #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Legal advisor Daniela Ellerbeck from Freedom of Religion South Africa said the Constitutional Court ruling that it is illegal for parents to smack their children sets a dangerous and disturbing precedent.

The highest court in the land on Wednesday upheld the 2017 ruling against corporal punishment in the home.

"What has happened with this judgement is that there is a serious erosion of both parental rights, for parents to determine what is in the best interest of their children and for them to raise their children in accordance with their own moral convictions and beliefs.

READ: ConCourt says spanking your child at home is illegal

"Secondly, we have seen a serious erosion of religious freedom with the State stepping in to the religious realm and telling people that this is how you must live out your faith", said Ellerbeck.

She added that enforcement of the judgement could be a challenge.

"If you are convicted, even if you do not go to jail, you now have a criminal record which stays with you for life. Think about the repercussions on the family units in South Africa," Ellerbeck said.