Mogoeng hands rod back to parliament — Tshego Motaung

Chief Justice Mogoeng.

The Constitutional Court’s recent judgment on spanking has perhaps exposed the disconnect that exists between the will of the people and the rules that govern them.

While many judgments are passed daily their impact always seems far removed from the reality of many ordinary people.

However the spanking judgment affects every household directly and as a result, has been a subject of debate for many South Africans.

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Many parents have come out in sharp criticism that the state is now infringing on the responsibility that is vested in them as parents to train their children in the way they should go.

Others, from the Christian community, have even criticised Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng for ignoring the biblical views that parents must not spare the rod, lest they spoil the child.

I also witnessed this on my recent visit to the hairdresser when I reminded one mother of the spanking judgment after she gave her children a stern warning that if they continued their behavior they would receive a spanking.

All the women in that room were up in arms, they all refused to accept that any court should tell them how they should raise their children. After arguing their case they were unanimous that they would continue to spank their children and no court would tell them otherwise.

This would effectively mean that all those women, according to the laws of land, would need to be arrested for breaking the law.

This is obviously a dilemma in a country like ours ridden with crime, murders and rape of women and children that our legal system is unable to cope with. This judgment has now added to the already overloaded system, parents who physically discipline their children.

After he had tabled the State of the Judiciary report yesterday, the Chief Justice responded to two people who asked him about spanking. He went on to explain that the role of the Constitutional Court is to interpret the law and not to make it.

Parliament bears that responsibility and therefore members of parliament are the ones who are responsible for setting these laws, he said.

Mogoeng went on to explain that if the people of South Africa feel that reasonable and moderate parental chastisement is required in raising up children, they can, through parliament, amend the Constitution to reflect the values of society.

It was interesting to note that the question came from an ANC member of parliament, whose party has held the majority of seats since the dawn of democracy and was effectively responsible for drafting the constitution.

The question raised by the ANC MP also exposed the confusion that MPs have about their responsibility as lawmakers and representatives of the will of the people.

It became clear from the answer that came from the Chief Justice that ultimately the responsibility to make and change laws that reflect the values of society lies with the people of South Africa.

The years of apathy of ordinary South Africans and our continued failure to engage in a meaningful way in election processes and how the nation is governed must be blamed.

It is also clear that as long as the electoral system allows political parties to send people who represent party interests and not necessarily interests of their constituency, such judgments will continue. While many people had pointed fingers at the Constitutional Court, it turns out we are all to blame.


  1. Elizabeth Joubert

    Thank goodness that we as ACDP are properly informed and are using these tools to help bring righteous and just rule to being.
    How thankful we are for our leaders.

  2. Paul van Jaarsveld

    Here we go again. The phrase “Spare the rod spoil the child” does not even exist in the Bible, but still it is quoted. Even on an article on a Christian website. I wonder if those who read this will even pick up a Bible and search for this? Don’t take my word for it. Search for it in any Bible. It’s not there. Do a quick google and you will find it’s a phrase out of a satirical poem. – The original Hebrew is also very clear. The Bible NEVER says adults must hit children, it has been incorrectly translated to due to an agenda. Please read this:

    • Your’e not reading your bible, that much is true. Read these verses without a pre conceived idea.

      Pro 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
      Pro 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
      Pro 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

      • Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod (H7626) hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. H7626 Strong’s Definition: From an unused root probably meaning to branch off; a scion, that is (literally) a stick (for punishing, writing, fighting, ruling, walking etc.) or (figuratively) a clan:-X correction, dart, rod, sceptre, staff, tribe.

    • I was going to correct Paul, however the others already did. The Bible says that if you spare the rod, you HATE your child. See, a spanking will harm the child at the time but will teach them right from wrong, and even more important:

      Proverbs 23:14 – Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

      Yes. Because if you don’t deliver discipline to your child, but follow the God-hating ANC terrorists’ way and give them some secular discipline, your child will turn out to have no respect, no concept of “no”, and end up turning into some godless reprobate monster. You want proof? Go to England or Holland and see what secular discipline has done – the kids there are horrible! That’s how important Biblical discipline is.

      But since sparing the rod means you hate your child, and the regime is saying you can’t do that – it is clear that SA’s regime hates children, it hates God, and – as commanded in Psalm 139:21-22 – I hate SA’s regime, for they are clearly enemies of God.

  3. GOD chastens those whom HE loves,and so should we as his people. Many scriptures in the Bible which can be found using a concordance such as Proverbs 19 v 18.. A good spank often works more wonders than words – this should always be done in love. The New World Order is set on breaking down family discipline to create the world chaos they need in taking over the world

  4. Elizabeth Joubert

    Thank you…thank you…YES!!!

  5. Yes, thank you for the scriptures. You can also add Proverbs 20:30 “Punishment that hurts chases evil from the heart”. Again punishment should be done trough love and not during anger. Have you ever look at the bigger picture? You lay the rules of your home down. It is the child’s decision to keep or brake the rules which will have consequences. Now short (rod) or long dragged out punishment? After punishment, my child say sorry for what he did, sorry for putting me in that situation (hurting me for punishing him) and I forgive him by telling him that and loving him with a kiss and a hug and immediately everything is put in the past and forgotten (I teach him about forgiveness too). The long dragged out punishment – you keep dwelling in the past. just my view. I applied both in the past. Interesting, ask your child which method he prefer.