From 2017 onward, all babies born to South African parents will be required to undergo DNA tests to confirm their paternity before they can be allowed to take on their fathers’ surnames, Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba has said.
Gigaba, speaking to Livemonitor this week in an interview, pointed out that he was working on a raft of measures “to cleanse the country of immorality” and to stop mischievous foreigners who will do anything to get South African Citizenship. He said he was working with his office ‘around the clock’ and that they were currently in the process of importing DNA testing machines from Japan. The high-tech machines will be used to confirm the paternity of the newborn babies.
“We will start rolling out the programme next year (2017) and this will include every child who will be applying for a birth certificate”
“Government has also noticed that most problems that families face, including juvenile delinquency, are a result of ancestral spirits of some of these children who find themselves being raised by people who are not their fathers… sometimes the problem of these children can be traced for several generations… this is what we are trying to stop. From now on, when a woman says this man is the father of my baby, she should be very sure about it because this is now going to be confirmed through DNA tests and a deterrent punishment will be meted out to those caught offside…”
“In addition to curbing immorality, we have been aware that single mothers who get involved in relationships with non-South African men, especially Zimbabweans and Nigerians, come to our offices to record these persons as fathers of their children even if they are not the biological fathers. This is then used by such persons to address our department for permanent status in the country due to the right that children have to be cared for by their parents.
Gigaba said he was also proposing a law that would ensure that women whose babies fail paternity tests be jailed for up to three years. Asked if this move does not violate children’s’ and women’s rights, Gigaba said this was not the case, arguing that instead, the move is meant to protect all rights, including the right of a child to know his or her true lineage.