Violence against women and children has become an international concern for many. We hear more and more stories from the victims of women and child abuse and it has become evident that South Africans are taking a stand.
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign started in 1991 and continues to this day as a United Nations campaign which takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).
That is why it is so prevalent in today’s society that the Prescription in Civil and Criminal Matters (Sexual Offences) Amendment Bill has been tabled in parliament. The Bill provides for the prosecution of people who have committed sexual offences, irrespective of when these offences were committed.
The bill aims to:
- Amend the Prescription Act, 1969, so as to extend the list of sexual offences in respect of which prescription does not commence to run under certain circumstances regarding a debt that is based on the alleged commission of any of those sexual offences;
- amend the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, so as to extend the list of sexual offences in respect of which a prosecution may be instituted after a period of 20 years has lapsed since the date of the alleged commission of the sexual offence; and
- provide for matters connected therewith. Sexual offences include rape, indecent assault, incest, child pornography and commercial sexual exploitation of children.
The Bill provides for the prosecution of people who have committed sexual offences, irrespective of when these offences were committed.
Cabinet added that the “proposed amendments will provide the National Prosecution Authority with a wider discretion to institute the prosecution of sexual offences cases that were committed even 20 years earlier”.
The portfolio committee on justice and correctional services will process the bill.
For more information this bill and other legislation, visit https://legal.sabinet.co.za – your direct and convenient access to the laws that govern South Africa.
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