Readers share ideas on religion after court rule

2017-07-06 06:00
Yolanda Mabandla

Yolanda Mabandla

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The High Court ruled last Wednesday that no public school should promote or teach one religion over another.

This decision was reached after the Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy (OGOD) approached the court to declare the religious policies six schools as unconstitutional

The schools included Randhart Primary Alberton, Baanbreker in Boksburg, Garsfontein in Pretoria, Linden High in Johannesburg, Oudtshoorn High School and Langenhoven Gymnasium in Oudtshoorn.

Hendrik van Nieuwenhuizen, for the NGO OGOD, quoted section 15.2 of the Constitution, according to which “religious observances” may be conducted “at”, and not “by” public schools, it was reported. He said it was in the interests of South Africa’s democracy that public schools not be allowed to promote a specific religion.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) welcomed a ruling by the high court that public schools could not promote one religion to the exclusion of others.

Mbongiseni Maseko, City Vision Reporter, took to the streets to ask residents how they feel about the ruling.

. YOLANDA MABANDLA, said: “It does not matter which religion is being followed by a school, I believe that prayer is important, because there are evil spirits.”

. SONWABO MANQABISHANE, said: “I do not support the ruling. It is in our nature to connect to God before we do anything through prayer. God must be promoted and schools should conduct prayer services at least twice a day instead, as prayer is much needed in schools than before,” he said.

. SIYABULELA MZAMANE, said: “It is important not to concentrate only on Christianity. We have different religions and they must all be observed. Children must be taught about the religions they follow at the young stage. We have a freedom of choice,” he said.

. SIMTHANDILE “RAS ASHA” QOBOKA, said: “Teaching religion in schools is right. We grew up following Christianity in schools and that played an important role in my life. I do not know why the system would arrive at such ruling,” Qoboka said.

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