The following correspondence has been submitted to the Department for Justice and Constitutional Development. This Alliance trusts that international consensus on this matter will persuade the honourable Minister, and the South African Law Reform Commission, to revisit it’s hesitancy in recommending that the Legislature set aside the Witchcraft Suppression Act as clearly inconsistent with both Constitutional and International law, without further delay.
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s draft resolution 47 entitled “Elimination of harmful practices related to accusations of witchcraft and ritual attacks” finally, although indirectly only, acknowledges that Witchcraft is not the mischief requiring regulation or prohibition. The draft correctly identifies the true harm requiring remedy; the human rights abuses which flow from accusations of witchcraft.
What is not at issue here is the Constitutional right of Witches to identify as Witches, to profess to have knowledge of Witchcraft, and to practice Witchcraft.
The Constitutional rights to freedom of religion, belief and association, do not protect any right to practice magical rituals designed to curse others, whether to protect an innocent from harm, or to avenge a wrong. The Witchcraft Suppression Act prohibits the practice of harmful magic intended to curse another.
South African law expressly prohibits the practice of magic in such a way as to cause harm, or to harass another in such a way as to inspire the reasonable belief that harm may be caused, or to utter or convey a threat which might induce a fear of being harmed through the use of witchcraft.
SAPRA Submission on the National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance Submitted to Ms. Danaline Franzman, Chief Director: Social Justice and Participatory Democracy, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on 30 August 2016. The South African Pagan
South African Law Reform Commission Private Bag X 668 PRETORIA, 0001 For attention: State Law Advisor Ms Jennifer Joni Professor Marita Carnelley Professor David Bilchitz Dr Sibusiso Masondo Ms Likhapa Mbatha Prof Pitika Ntuli Prof Theodore Petrus Comment
The new Issue Paper released by the South African Law Reform Commission has confirmed the following:a) the Witchcraft Suppression Act’s prohibition of identifying as a witch and professing knowledge of witchcraft is unconstitutional, and b) the Act’s prohibition of engaging in divination’s
SAPRA has received an update from the South African Law Reform Commission, on the review of the Witchcraft Suppression Act. See: http://www.justice.gov.za/salrc/media/20160119-prj135-dp139-WitchcraftSuppression.pdf All stakeholders (existing or new) are invited to submit comment on the new draft PROHIBITION OF HARMFUL PRACTICES ASSOCIATED WITH WITCHCRAFT BELIEFS