Author: Michael Swain

Parliament reopens ‘Hate Speech Bill’ for comment

Parliament has re-opened the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill for public comment until Friday October 1. The decision to reopen the bill follows on from the Constitutional Court’s recent decision and definition of hate speech (in the Qwelane matter). The bill – for the first time in SA’s history – criminalises certain […]

PEPUDA Amendment Bill: a fast track to religious persecution? — Michael Swain

This is the first article in a series by Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) on the PEPUDA Amendment Bill (“the Amendment Bill”) and its potentially detrimental and far-reaching implications for religious freedom in South Africa, if passed into law in its current form. For more articles like this that explain what the bill is about, and […]

When religious practitioners and organisations go wrong — Michael Swain

By Michael Swain, executive director of Freedom of Religion South Africa How greater levels of voluntary and self-regulatory accountability can effectively resolve problems It seems that every day there is another article or TV exposure of some so-called pastor or prophet doing something that is either outright criminal or borderline at […]

Land expropriation and the religious community

Land expropriation is a highly political and emotionally charged issue. Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is closely monitoring this area since it clearly has the potential to impact on the religious community. We therefore want to bring a balanced perspective to our constituency so that we have a […]

The religious community must find solutions to its own problems — Michael Swain

The COGTA Parliamentary Portfolio Committee recently held meetings to allow for input by the religious community into the CRL’s Report on the “Commercialisation” of Religion and Abuse of People’s Belief Systems. These meetings were attended by a significant number of denominations, churches and major organisations from the Christian community. Many […]