The name of the game is allegedly derived from the fact that blue whales often beach themselves, thus committing suicide.
via Wait on the Lord
*Update (as at 27 November 2017): Subsequent to the filing of the application for leave to appeal with the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, the SCA advised that the application should be referred directly to the Constitutional Court. In the circumstances, FOR SA will shortly be filing our application with the Constitutional Court instead.
As you may be aware, the High Court of Johannesburg recently delivered a judgment which abolished the historic defense of “reasonable and moderate chastisement”. This has been used by parents for generations as a defense against an assault charge for (reasonably and moderately) disciplining their child/ren. Please note that this was never a defense to violence and abuse against child/ren, which is clearly a criminal matter where the State has a duty to intervene.
There is an obvious and fundamental difference, however, between moderate chastisement by a parent motivated by love and in the best interest of their child/ren on the one hand, and physical violence or abuse on the other hand.
Following this judgment, there has been a massive public outcry – not only from religious parents, but also from non-religious parents whose parental rights and authority have now been significantly diminished.
FOR SA, who was initially invited by the Court to be a “Friend of the Court” in the matter, is the only party left in the case with the opportunity to appeal this judgment. After careful consideration and the unanimous approval of our leadership team (Michael Cassidy (AE); Moss Ntlha (TEASA); Barry Isaacs (CCC) and Andrew Selley (JoshGen/Four12), we believe it necessary to pursue this legal recourse and have subsequently filed for leave to appeal. We have been advised that this appeal will be directly to the Constitution Court.
Note: FOR SA’s appeal only relates to the constitutional issue considered by the Court [i.e.] whether reasonable and moderate chastisement is congruent with the Constitution. The appeal specifically does not concern the merits of whether the father’s appeal against his conviction by the Magistrate’s Court on charges of common assault should be upheld.
Here are the main reasons FOR SA believes that an appeal is important:
- The judgment circumvents normal legislative process, which is especially important to follow since this decision affects so many citizens.
The judgment circumvents the normal legislative process, which is especially important to follow since this decision affects so many citizens. While High Courts have a constitutional obligation to develop the common law in line with our Constitution, FOR SA’s concern is that the judgment is an over-reach and effectively usurps the power of Parliament, which has the primary responsibility of law reform. In this regard, we point out that when deliberating the Children’s Act in 2005, Parliament, as the democratically elected representatives of the people of South Africa, made a deliberate and considered decision to retain the right of parents to reasonably and moderately chastise their children as part of SA law. However, in this case and with a stroke of a pen, two judges have now effectively overruled Parliament’s decision and circumvented the legislative process.
- Religious rights curtailed.
Freedom of religion, which is granted to all South Africans by section 15 of our Constitution, is doctrinally neutral. It is given to protect the right of every citizen to believe and to live out their faith, before God and in obedience to the law of the land – without fear of persecution or retribution.
Christian parents in particular differ in their interpretation of the Scriptures (most of which are found in the Book of Proverbs) which focus on the discipline of children by their parents. Some parents, over centuries, have believed that these Scriptures instruct (or at the very least, permit) moderate and reasonable physical chastisement, usually as a last resort but nevertheless as part of their responsibility to raise their children. Others interpret this as using other forms of discipline to encourage obedience and “good behaviour” from their children.
A concerning element of this case is that two judges of a provincial division of the High Court have now effectively ruled, for the whole of South Africa, that “it is permissible to require religious parents who believe in corporal punishment to be expected to obey the secular laws, rather than permitting them to place their religious beliefs above [what in the view of the Judge is] the best interests of their children.”
An interpretation of Scripture which is held by many has therefore been declared invalid and if parents continue to follow their conscience, they will now be committing a crime. This sets an unfortunate and potentially dangerous precedent since religious rights have been curtailed and limited by the judgment.
- The rights of children have been ruled to trump parental and religious rights, which sets a dangerous precedent.
While children most certainly have constitutional rights and these rights must be protected, there is a clear recognition in law that a child does NOT have equal rights to an adult in all circumstances – hence the age of consent for sexual activity, the age of voting, laws against drinking and smoking before a certain age, etc. This case has set a precedent where children’s rights have trumped parental and religious rights and this may be extended in future to other areas. For example, in the context of transgender issues, it is quite foreseeable that this case will be used as authority to insist that parental caution and concern be overruled in favour of a young child’s desire for hormone suppressant treatment and/or gender reassignment surgery.
- More parenting tools are needed, not fewer.
FOR SA is not for, or against, spanking – but we do support the rights of parents to decide for themselves, according to their moral or religious convictions, how to discipline their child/ren. For many parents, reasonable and moderate spanking – at times, where needed, always in love – is ONE of the methods which is used to raise responsible children who know the difference between right and wrong, but not the only method that parents should employ. We are in favour of more “training tools”, not fewer.
Given that the latest statistics show that over 30 million South Africans live on less that R1,000 per month and in small (often over-crowded) accommodation, there may be no (or very few) alternatives to reasonable and moderate chastisement for parents in these communities. There may well be no “naughty corner” in a rural dwelling, and what “privileges” do you take away from children who have none?
- Criminalising parents is not in the best interests of the family and child/ren.
There is a large body of credible social science that shows that mild corporal punishment is not harmful for children, and may even be beneficial. This was ignored by the Court, who made a decision that any form of chastisement in all circumstances – regardless of how light, or well-intended – to be detrimental and harmful to children. As such, any parent who uses any form of physical chastisement or restraint on their child, can be charged with the criminal offence of assault, with the following consequences – which may well not be in the best interests of the child:
- Any report of an assault will likely lead to a highly disruptive investigation, which is certain to strain family dynamics.
- If found guilty, the parent will have a criminal record for assault of a minor (i.e. child abuse). This is a serious crime, regardless of how minor the “assault” may have been. It is often grounds for the automatic termination of a contract of employment, sponsorship etc. It will certainly count against the person when he/she applies for future employment since this a background check is often a requirement. The resulting financial hardship to the family may have serious long-term disadvantages to the child.
- A criminal record is a lifetime inhibitor for things like visa applications for travel purposes, which can also have detrimental consequences from an employment perspective.
- There is the potential for children to “blackmail” their parents and/or for one spouse to use this against the other, especially in divorce proceedings.
- The experience of New Zealand shows that this decision is likely to have detrimental results.
It is interesting to note the results from recent surveys in New Zealand, where the “reasonable and moderate chastisement” defense was removed from parents in 2007. These surveys found that:
- a third of parents of younger children say that their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked.
- one in four parents of younger children say that they have less confidence when dealing with unacceptable behaviour from their children.
- Police statistics show that not a single social indicator relating to the abuse of children that had shown significant or sustained improvement since the passing of the law:
- there has been a 136% increase in physical abuse
- 43% increase in sexual abuse
- 45% increase in neglect or ill-treatment of children.
Support FOR SA
Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the freedoms and rights that the South African Constitution has granted to the faith community. You can help FOR SA protect our freedom by:
- Praying for us as we defend this precious freedom before government and courts of law;
- Signing up (at no cost) to FOR SA at http://forsa.org.za/contact-us/join-us/ andsubscribing to our Newsletter;
- Following us, and sharing our posts, on Facebook at “Freedom of Religion SA”;
- Informing us, should you become aware of any case in which religious freedom is threatened;
- Making a financial contribution to FOR SA at http://forsa.org.za/donate/ As a non-profit organisation, we are entirely dependent upon God’s grace for finances. Your generosity will help make a significant difference as we work to fulfil our mission to keep the Gospel free by advocating for religious freedom. We appreciate every gift, big or small!
CAPE TOWN – Idols South Africa winner Paxton Fielies says that she’s now setting her sights on building her singing career.
The Capetonian was crowned the winner of 13 season on Sunday in Johannesburg.
Cape Town teenager Paxton Fielies bagged the most votes to become one of the youngest winners of Idols SA 2017.
The petite 17-year-old won the title at a spectacular finale at Carnival City in Johannesburg on Sunday evening.
Fielies received the majority of the viewers’ votes when she and Mthokozisi Ndaba‚ 25‚ from KwaMashu in Durban‚ made the final two after months of battle against thousands of contestants.
On Sunday‚ accompanied by the multi award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir‚ Fielies performed Stand Up for Love by Destiny’s Child and Ndaba sang R. Kelly’s The Storm Is Over. They also collaborated on a remix of Back To The Beach by Kyle Deutsch and Shekinah.
An excited Fielies‚ who sacrificed her Grade 11 year‚ said she had decided with the support of her mother that 2017 would be a risk-taker year.
“It was a risk worth taking. But I intend completing my studies while doing gigs and shows. My goal is to make it internationally.
“The highlight apart from winning Idols was performing on my birthday during the season‚” said Fielies.
Fielies said she knows people appreciate her talent and will continue to support her.
She said every week was a difficult week as you didn’t know who was going home‚ on top of learning a new song.
“But here I am because I worked very hard to be where I am. I celebrated every performance knowing how hard I worked. I did receive criticism sometimes but I didn’t let it get me down.”
Fielies will begin recording her album in January.
The teen thanked her family and fans for supporting her journey.
“In my community there’s a lot of gangsterism and there’s a lot going on. For them to just gather, for just one day, is amazing. It shows the support is still there. It shows they support youngsters. I would like to thank everyone who gathered to watch the show.”
The designer drug made headlines last week as it hit South African shores. Cases of the synthetic drug have been already reported in Durban and Pretoria.
lakka also known as the Zombie drug has hit the streets of Mzansi
Images of how Flakka is distributed were circulated on social media this week. Parents are advised to to keep an eye on their children and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police.
t is a synthetic stimulant made from cathinone – an amphetamine-like drug found in bath salts. Cathinone has been banned and the drug-makers are using a similar substance called alpha-PVP instead.
PANIC has risen in South Africa with the synthetic drug Flakka, also known as the ‘zombie drug’, having hit the shores of Durban.
Various videos of people allegedly under the influence of the drug have surfaced on social media with people doing bizarre and completely absurd things.
People who take the drug are often left unable to talk and have no idea what is going on around them until the drug wears off. When people take the drug, they become a clear danger to themselves and others.
The drug is said to cause hallucinations, spikes in body temperature, an increased sex-drive, panic and hysteria to its users.
The drug can make users have feelings of super strength coupled with a pure feeling of rage.
So why would anyone want to use a drug of this calibre?
Research has shown that flakka affords users the same high as cocaine at an extremely low prize.
One of the earliest stories of Flakka in Durban was that of a man who bit off a chunk of someone’s arm while high.
Despite it being a cheap alternative, flakka has a worse effect on the neurological system as it stays in the brain longer than cocaine.
eifell tower gone dark,
as many life has gone dark forever in a day
by the hand of a numbers man
who was also a country music fan
we cant say what happens in vegas stays in vegas
as these death had been a mass.
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump used a solemn address from the White House on Monday to call for unity in the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, calling the massacre an “act of pure evil.”
The gun attack on a country music festival Sunday in Las Vegas killed at least 50 people and injured more than 400 others.
In a subdued statement, Trump said the nation was united “in sadness, shock and grief.”
Reading from a teleprompter in the Diplomatic Reception Room, Trump mourned the victims and announced he would visit the stricken Nevada city on Wednesday.
“We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss,” Trump said of those who lost loved ones in the massacre.
For the second time of his presidency, Trump sought to provide solace after a deadly US shooting. He acknowledged the work of local law enforcement officers and called for unity in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
Speaking for five minutes, Trump acknowledged there were few answers for Americans still coming to grips with the tragedy.
“In times such as these I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness,” he said. “The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light, and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.”
The massacre in Nevada is the worst domestic act of violence of Trump’s presidency. He was briefed on the situation Monday morning by his chief of staff, John Kelly, and conveyed his initial condolences on Twitter.
“My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” he wrote early Monday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the attack a “horrific tragedy” and said in a statement that the White House was “monitoring the situation closely.”
Shortly after Trump spoke, the White House released a proclamation ordering flags be flown at half-staff on federal buildings.
As a candidate, Trump used the Orlando night club shooting — until Monday, the worst mass shooting in American history — as a data point in his push to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
“I said this was going to happen — and it is only going to get worse,” Trump said in a statement then.
Trump was criticized for immediately connecting the incident to radical Islamic terrorism, but later he was defiant when the shooter was identified.
“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” Trump wrote on Twitter in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting.
Little is known about the perpetrator of the Las Vegas attack. Authorities have identified 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as the gunman.
During the course of his presidency, Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama responded to more than a dozen mass shootings. His responses ranged from angry, to emotional, to — by the end of his term — resigned.
On Monday, Trump was originally scheduled to speak at an event about regulatory reform, but his public remarks were canceled. Later in the day he’s slated to meet with Republican governors and the prime minister of Thailand.
He still plans to travel on Tuesday to Puerto Rico to survey storm damage, the White House said.