Curbing religious freedom?

2017-01-24 06:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The closing date for public comments on the latest draft of the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill is fast approaching, which is 31 January.

Most South Africans are unaware of this legislation and its potential implications for freedom of speech and religion in the country.

It would particularly infringe on the constitutional right to freedom of religion and belief of ordinary citizens. Due to the broad phrases used in this document, it could mean that religious sermons and practices will be subject to frequent scrutiny in future. These may also even be subjected to government approval, to ensure that no harm results from it and that it offends no-one, both inside and outside of that religion.

This seems like a form of political correctness in which merely relaying unpopular things that are clearly stated in scriptures like the Bible for example, could be punishable by law.

This kind of criminalisation and censure is commonly found in communist and non-religious countries. Since when does the voice and will of man have greater authority than the Word of God? Is this yet another hindrance for God to be able to bless our country?

What is also of concern, is the short time period made available for public comment on this Bill, and the lack of public awareness campaigns on it.

Could this be interpreted as deliberate attempts to have only a small minority objecting, as it would easily give government the authority to pass it into law?

The vast majority of South Africans are actively practising different religions, and would no doubt have already objected to it, had they been made more aware of what it entails; and how they could go about lodging these dissatisfactions with Parliament.

G Contaldi Tafelsig

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.