Is the Traditional Health Practitioners Act (No 22 of 2007) in conflict with the Witchcraft Suppression Act (No 3 of 1957) in present-day South Africa?
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Background: The Traditional Health Practitioners Act (Act No 22, 2007) to regulate the traditional health fraternity had been driven since the 1960s and became a reality after the 1994 political change in South Africa. Although the Act was already promulgated in 2007 it is still not active. Certain definitions of the Act seemed to be very controversial; especially the role of the supernatural in healing that could be associated with witchcraft and criminal-related behaviour. Aims: The aim is to determine if the Witchcraft Suppression Act (Act No 3, 1957) is discriminatory against the traditional healer as well as well as to determine if the Traditional Health Practitioners Act (No 22, 2007) and the traditional healer are contravening the regulations of Act No 3 (1957). Methods: The exploratory and descriptive method was used to evaluate and to reproduce any research data. This method offered information to compare the two acts in their functioning with each other. Results: From the data extracted from various sources it seems as if Act No 22 (2007) was promulgated without in-depth research on the role that the traditional healer may play in witchcraft activities. The aim of Act No 3 (1957) was totally ignored. Conclusions: Act No 3 (1957) does not discriminate against Act No 22 (2007). Instead, it seems that various stipulations of Act No 3 have been transgressed by the traditional healers without legal action being taken against them.
- Faculty of Humanities