Published On: Wed, Mar 5th, 2014

Nkosiyapha Kunene and wife Virginia are headed to jail after son dies of rickets, refusing medical care due to religious beliefs

A British mother and father who invoked religious teachings to refuse medical help for their young son will be spending up to three years in jail as detailed by The Guardian.

The couple’s five-month-old son, Ndingeko Kunene, died of rickets, a bone condition caused by vitamin D deficiency.

Nkosiyapha Kunene, age 36, and his wife, Virginia, age 32, admitted the manslaughter of their son Ndingeko and Mr. Kunene was jailed for three years, and his wife for two years, three months.

The pair repeatedly rejected medical treatment and ignored the advice of relatives to seek help after their son became ill, stating that “only God gives life.”

“The courts of this country apply the secular law of the land,” the Judge responded.

“They do so equally to all who come before them. The law respects the right of everyone to freedom of thought and belief. However, the right to manifest one’s religion is not absolute. It is limited in particular by the rights of others. The state has a particularly important duty to protect the right to life, especially when a young child is concerned.”

Mr. Kunene responded by saying “we are praying” and “we can’t do anything about it until the lord sanctions.”

On June 14, 2012, he called emergency servies saying his five-month old child had no signs of life.

Police were called to their home, where they tried to resuscitate the baby, but he was pronounced dead later that evening.

The judge said that the couple, otherwise “dedicated and humble”, were strict Seventh Day Adventists. But he added: “However their views (in particular Mr Kunene’s) appear to be very extreme and do not reflect the official doctrine of that church.”

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

Photo/Nodar Kherkheulidze via wikimedia commons

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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