Still no access to sex register

2013-11-20 00:00

CRECHES, schools and organisations like Durban’s Bobbi Bear are still waiting to get access to the child sexual predator register.

Eureka Olivier of Bobbi Bear, said yesterday this was making it easier for paedophiles to cross provincial and national borders, and get jobs that involved working with children.

The National Register for Sex Offenders records the names of those found guilty of sexual offences against children and mentally disabled people, and allows employers to check whether a potential employee is fit to work with children or the mentally disabled.

It was implemented by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on June 30, 2009.

The NGO and the African Christian Democratic Party MPL Jo-Ann Downs were speaking at a press conference where they announced they had signed, and supported a petition to call on the Dutch government to reban the child-sex advocacy group Martijn.

The group has been lobbying the Dutch government to lower the age of sexual consent and for social acceptance of paedophilia and its expression.

Downs said because organisations like hers could not look at the register, it was very easy to keep the offence secret.

“Schools and crèches should have had access to the register when it was introduced.

“They would have been able to do their due diligence and it would have gone a long way to ensuring they are able to do background checks on people wanting to work with children.”

“All schools and crèches registered on the government’s database should have access,” she said.

National registrar for sex offenders Ntombizodwa Matjila said a confidentiality clause in the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, prohibited her or any other official in her office from disclosing information contained in the register.

Matjila said the register is up to date and it has been implemented in two phases. Phase 1, which deals with the recording of current orders (orders made from the implementation of the register in 2009, June 30 to date), is operational and fully implemented. Currently, there are 11 418 names on the register. Phase 2 deals with the interface of electronic systems between stakeholder departments — Correctional Services, Health and police — as well as it relates to the purposes of issuing clearance certificates or verifying individuals for employment purposes, or any other purpose connected therewith, and is not yet operational. This is due to the administrative processes that are yet to unfold to facilitate compliance with the act.

Meanwhile, Martijn’s attempts to get the Dutch government to legalise sex between minors and adults has outraged NGOs. Some 198 from five countries having signed the “Ring the Alarm” petition, pleading for legislation to prevent advocacy groups violating various United Nations articles. The Dutch supreme court still has to rule on this matter.

Downs warned that if Martijn was able to further its agenda, it would have an effect on South Africa and other developing countries. This was particularly because of sex tourism and child-sex trafficking, but it may also cause the same legal issues in Western countries.

“If Martijn is able to move forward with their agenda, their counterparts in other countries will then have leverage to petition for the same things.

“The laws on webcam sex tourism targeting children and travelling to have sex with children have international implications if laws in one country are changed,” Downs said in a statement.

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