Proposed Learners' Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Scrapped - 14 February 2008


The announcement by Education Minister Naledi Pandor on Tuesday, that all South African school children will  have to make a pledge of allegiance to the South African constitution was met by strong reactions from members of the Christian Action Network.

The Network believes that the ANC are planning to replace prayer and Bible reading in schools with a new religious rite - a cult of the state - complete with an oath of allegiance to the secular constitution.

The constitution contains certain clauses diametrically opposed to the values mentioned in the pledge. For example, it is recognised as a higher authority than the Almighty God, protects the right to life of murderers and rapists but denies the right to life of innocent pre-born babies, and it opened the door to the legalisation of pornography and same sex marriages.

"It ishypocritical that a government which has phased out compulsory religious education, Scripture reading and prayers at schools, should now expect children to uphold values such as 'dignity' and 'justice'," commented  International co-ordinator of the Christian Action Network, Taryn Hodgson.

"There is nothing in the pledge about honouring God, honouring parents and elders, working hard, or comitting not to steal, murder, rape or covet. How can children pledge allegiance to a constitution which denies other children - the most helpless and innocent of all citizens  - pre-born babies - their most basic right - the Right to Life? A good pledge of allegiance would be based on the 10 commandments as stated in the Bible." 

The Network would like to see this pledge scrapped, and will call on the Minister to, at the very least, recognise that parents and learners will have objections, and to facilitate an opt-out option. As this will be open to public comment, they have urged their members and affiliates to ensure that their concerns are heard by forwarding submissions to Parliament.

CONTACT: International Co-ordinator of the Christian Action Network, Taryn Hodgson on 072 215 4801 or 021-689 4480, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 -
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