The PEPUDA AMENDMENT BILL – A SERIOUS THREAT To RELIGIOUS FREEDOM In SOUTH AFRICA

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The PEPUDA AMENDMENT BILL  A SERIOUS THREAT To RELIGIOUS FREEDOM In SOUTH AFRICA 1Listen to the Radio Cape Pulpit (729AM) Christian Perspective on the News by Dr. Peter Hammond on A Serious Threat To Religious Freedom In South Africa – PEPUDA Amendment Bill, click here.

 

To listen to ACA’s Salt and Light programme interviewing Advocate Nadine Badenhorst of FORSA, on Radio Tygerberg regarding the Equity Bill and Marriage Act, click here.

 

An Urgent Call To Prayer And Action

We need to respond to the invitation of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development Promotion of Equality and the Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Amendment Bill.

 

Undermining Constitutional Freedoms

We have serious concerns about how this Bill could undermine our Constitutional Rights to freedom of religion, belief and opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of association and interfere with our freedoms of conscience before God to be free from unwarranted interference by the state and political entities.

 

The PEPUDA AMENDMENT BILL  A SERIOUS THREAT To RELIGIOUS FREEDOM In SOUTH AFRICA 2Eroding Freedom of Opinion

It would appear that this Bill could be used to dictate to religious people and institutions what we may, or may not, say, what we may, or may not, do and what we may, or may not, believe. It is not acceptable that any political institutions interfere in the religious freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

 

Unacceptable, Unworkable and Unconstitutional

It is unacceptable, unworkable and unconstitutional that people and institutions of faith could be subjected to time and money-wasting court cases simply because someone else chooses to take offence by what one may, or may not, say, or do.

 

The PEPUDA AMENDMENT BILL  A SERIOUS THREAT To RELIGIOUS FREEDOM In SOUTH AFRICA 3Subjective Perceptions

Subjective opinion and perceptions can lead to a wide variety of interpretations. It could also lead to an overwhelming flood of litigations that could tie up our legal system, which is already overwhelmed and backlogged, into chaotic competing lawsuits.

 

Equality of Results Not Opportunity

We are concerned that the Bill broadens the definition of equality to mean, amongst other things, “equal rights and access to resources, opportunities, benefits and advantages”. This proposed definition of equality goes further than the Constitution. It is dangerously overbroad and therefore unconstitutional.

 

The PEPUDA AMENDMENT BILL  A SERIOUS THREAT To RELIGIOUS FREEDOM In SOUTH AFRICA 4Radical Redefinition of Discrimination

We are further concerned that the Bill changes the definition of discrimination to mean something completely different to what the ordinary person understands these words to mean. To change discrimination to also mean a subjective perception where someone can take their emotional reaction to attribute motives to someone who may have never even intended any such harm, or discrimination. To effectively punish people for saying, or doing, things they did not know to be wrong and where there was no intention to break the law is a radical departure from the rest of our law.

 

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The Bill in its present form does not distinguish between fair discrimination and unfair discrimination. Any free society allows choices and preferences. To effectively make the accused guilty until proven innocent is unjust and unconstitutional.

 

Burden of Proof Should be on the Accuser Not the Accused

To place the burden of proof on the one accused is in violation of the innocent until proven guilty principle long established in law.

 

The PEPUDA AMENDMENT BILL  A SERIOUS THREAT To RELIGIOUS FREEDOM In SOUTH AFRICA 5Guilt by Association

The Bill, in its present form, provides for employers to be jointly liable for any perceived discrimination by their employees. This is manifestly unjust. It is virtually impossible for any employer to foresee, or prevent every action, or comment, by every employee, in all circumstances.

 

An Attempted Revolution in Law

The Bill represents an attempted revolution in South Africa’s legal system requiring all laws, policies, codes and practises to get in line with and give effect to the radical ideological objectives and new overbroad definition of equality represented by this Bill.

 

The PEPUDA AMENDMENT BILL  A SERIOUS THREAT To RELIGIOUS FREEDOM In SOUTH AFRICA 6A Clear and Present Danger

This Bill represents a serious threat to freedom and a potential weapon for abuse and persecution of individuals, organizations, churches and ministries who may disagree with politicians and their statements.

 

Financial Burden

This Bill imposes onerous financial obligations on community-based organizations, ministries and churches to allocate money from their budgets to implement measures to promote what this Bill now defines as equality and to eliminate discrimination, in the radical senses defined by this Bill. This is a financial impossibility for faith-based organizations, with designated funds and depending on donations by their members.

 

Communist Coercion to Compel Conformity

In effect, this Bill threatens communist government type coercion to compel conformity to political ideology. It is unnecessary, unworkable and unconstitutional. For this reason, we strongly oppose the Bill and call for the scrapping of this potentially disastrous Bill in its entirety.

 

Direct your letters to:

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Mrs. Fathima Bhayat

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Yours for Faith and Freedom

Dr. Peter Hammond

 

Africa Christian Action

PO Box 23632

Claremont 7735

Cape Town South Africa

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.ChristianAction.org.za

www.ChristianLibertyBooks.co.za

 

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