Submission on the SALRC Project 107
The Catholic Church holds to the principle of the universal destiny of all goods and thus, though private property must be respected at all times, and there can be no arbitrary dispossession of property, all forms of property ownership exist within a context where “the right to private property must never be exercised to the detriment of the common good” (Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, #23).
It cannot be denied that crimes motivated or exacerbated by hatred occur in South Africa. We think immediately of certain xenophobic attacks, carried out for no reason other than the ‘foreignness’ of the victims; and of ‘corrective rape’, which stems from the perpetrator’s intolerance of the victim’s sexual orientation. It is correct that the criminal justice system should take cognizance of this, and that those who make themselves guilty of such crimes should be punished.