Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 29-07-2019
A child rights’ advocate says corporal punishment and religion is widespread across South Africa.
This comes after a Bonteheuwel boy was covered in red welts following a beating with a plastic pipe, allegedly because he farted in madrassa.
The family of the 10-year-old want answers after he came home with red swelling on his wrists, ankles and bum from a hiding allegedly at the hands of his muallim.
Child rights’ advocate, Dr Joan van Niekerk says corporal punishment has been around for a while.
“I think that it is very much in the Christian religion based on the misunderstanding of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ and also I think for many centuries, physical punishment has been seen as maybe an exceptional way of disciplining a child.”
Executive Director of Freedom of Religion South Africa Michael Swain says physical discipline cannot be eliminated altogether.
“If you take away any form of physical discipline from parents, what you are doing, is you are saying that any parent no matter how loving, no matter how mild the correction and it could be literally a slap on the wrist, is actually open to a criminal charge of assault, and if found guilty, will be found guilty of child abuse.”
Van Niekerk says in order to deal and prevent the hue problem with violence in the country, there are moves to raise children without violence.
Listen to the interview with Joan van Niekerk and Michael Swain