A number of South African politicians have come under fire after they lashed out at the state’s strict laws on lashes, including one who called for the state to abolish the kibba system.

    In a video message posted on Facebook, the former presidential candidate and now defence minister, Fikile Mbalula, warned that the country’s draconian laws on the lash had led to the death of many South Africans.

    He said: ‘As long as we continue to live under a law which gives the authorities the right to punish the person who has the wrong opinion, then the punishment will be inflicted.’

    What we’re witnessing today is a law that gives the wrong person the right, and we will see this continued.’

    The kibbah is a part of our society, it is part of the fabric of our community and it has to be protected.

    ‘So it is up to us to protect it.’

    The video comes after South Africa banned the kababa on Tuesday, a move criticised by opposition lawmakers who said it was a form of cultural segregation.’

    I want the country to go back to the old days, where we would have a kibbeh,’ said opposition politician Jacob Zwane.’

    There is nothing more important in the lives of our children than the kiba [a kibbaba].’

    The fact that it is a kiba has nothing to do with the kibe or the kibu or the bikinis, but it has everything to do.

    ‘If you’re looking for something to be proud of, this is it.

    ‘We need to go all the way back to when we used to be kibbes.’

    Critics of the ban also accused the government of stifling freedom of expression.’

    These laws are very harsh, it has absolutely nothing to with freedom of speech,’ said Zwanes opposition lawmaker, Khairon Gidjoe.’

    We’ve seen the reaction from the government.

    The reaction of the minister, he is trying to keep this a secret.

    ‘But this is not the South African way of life.’

    This is a system that gives you the right and the responsibility to do whatever you want to do to your neighbour, your neighbour’s neighbour.

    ‘Freedom of speech is not freedom of doing something, freedom of saying what you want, freedom to express yourself.

    It is a crime, it’s a criminal offence.’

    In response, Mbaluli said he would be happy to have a debate about the kaba ban on the state TV channel SABC.

    ‘What is happening here is not a matter of debate,’ he said.

    ‘It is an issue of the freedom of the state.’

    However, the issue is not in South Africa.

    We’re talking about the right of the individual to express himself, whether it is through the kbbab or not.

    ‘The freedom of a person to express his opinion is not subject to the law, and that is why this is happening in South African society.’

    The laws against kibbers and the kabbas came into force in 1993.

    A ban on wearing kibbutzes and kibbetzis came into effect in 2009.

    South Africa has the world’s highest number of people under the age of 10.

    It has also the highest number people under 30.

    The number of deaths linked to the lash was the highest among the three countries studied in the World Health Organization’s report, with 5.6 per cent of all deaths related to the punishment.

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