Dept worries over sex offences ruling

2013-01-15 22:16

Johannesburg - The justice department will study a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria against certain sections of the Sexual Offences Amendment Act, an official said on Tuesday.

Judge Pierre Rabie ruled earlier in the day that sections 15 and 16 of the act, which criminalise "consensual penetration" between children younger than 16 and older than 12, as well as section 56 (2)(b) of the act, were unconstitutional.

Justice spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said the department was "reflecting on all the legal issues canvassed" in the ruling to see whether there were valid grounds for an appeal.

"This judgment has far-reaching implications in the escalating rate of sexual violence among children under the age of 16 years, as seen in many cases dealt with by law enforcement and our courts," he said in a statement.

"The decision to appeal or not will be determined after a proper analysis of the judgment and will take into consideration the interest and rights of the children as dictated by the Constitution."

The case was brought by the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

The two organisations argued the sections often resulted in many underage pregnant girls not wanting to have abortions at clinics, as this would lead to criminal charges against them and their partners.

It said the provisions infringe on their rights, and expose them to the trauma of the criminal justice system.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2013-01-16 06:07

    it should be a crimminal offence if you have sex with a a minor younger than 18 years whether there is consent or not lock them and it will relieve the burden that we should pay for it through grants.and please make sure that these idiots that target these young girls get what they reserve jail time

      adele.coetzee.94 - 2013-01-16 06:29

      Raymond I fully agree with u, they deserve jail time. It is just sick to have sex with such young children!!!!!

      Johan5417 - 2013-01-16 07:20

      It is an offence to commit a sexual act with a child under the age of 16 years of age whether there is consent or not. The legislation that has been knocked down is when two children between the ages of 12 and 16 commit sexual acts with each other. The State then has to prosecute both. Children will experiment and to criminalise it is the wrong way to go. What sentence does one pass over these children. It is stupid to send them to jail. Whether the age should be raised to under 18 is a matter of opinion.

      jono.qmann - 2013-01-16 07:35

      not saying that it is right and according to me it shouldnt be allowed...but they are talking about kids having sex! no adult in this case..."between children younger than 16 and older than 12"..."sexual violence among children under the age of 16 years". @raymond...youg girls arnt always the innocent party!!!

      Jenny - 2013-01-16 08:08

      I think you missed something here. They are talking about children having sex with other children. He ruled that for example a 15 year old boy having sex with a 14 year old girl can't be criminal.

      christoffvstaden - 2013-01-16 08:33

      @raymond.kok.3 This law is about kids having sex. Younger then 16 - older then 12. It has nothing to do with consensual sex between adults - 16 upwards. The law states that kids can be criminally charged even if they had consensual sex, and the judge is trying to change it into not being criminal. This has nothing to do with lowering the age of consent, which is 16 BTW & not 18.

      christoffvstaden - 2013-01-16 08:56

      Looking at all the thumbs up on raymond's & adele's posts I am very concerned about people's ability to read, analyze & interpret news articles correctly.

      aitken.rob - 2013-01-16 22:34

      Raymond, what if your 14 year old son had sex with a 13yr old girl and got her pregnant. Do you as the parent go to jail or does you son?

  • adele.coetzee.94 - 2013-01-16 06:34

    Wtf! Why are u worried about them going to jail! That's what they deserve! U should rather be worried about them having sex at such a young age! U will not be helping them by changing the law, just making it easier for them!!!! Wake up!!!!

      Jenny - 2013-01-16 08:09

      Adele - so you think that teenagers having sex should go to jail?

      christoffvstaden - 2013-01-16 08:46

      @adele.coetzee.94 Come on, are you serious? Kids having to go to jail for having consensual sex? You are kidding me, right? Clearly kids are having sex, having a law in place to criminalise it isn't effective(why else changing it) & it would be better to make sure these kids knows about using protection & the risks instead of having laws that are not effective.

      angelanair3 - 2013-01-16 10:11

      I agree Adele - this is making kids more promiscuous! Kids should not have sex at 12 - time for sex and lust later! Government should not decide for me - I will decide when my kids are ready for sex - I will enlighten them but they will be told no hanky panky until you 16 - at least! 18 is even better! Responsible parents should stand up against this law.....

      Desperate.Dan61 - 2013-01-16 10:17

      You would need to build about 1000 more Jails if that's the case. Teenagers will do it whether we like it or not. The Problem is that some 16 year old Teenagers look and behave 25 year olds which creates the problems.

  • Johan5417 - 2013-01-16 07:13

    Not sure why the Department is worried about this bad piece of legislation. It is a stupid law that should never have found its way onto the statutes.

      christoffvstaden - 2013-01-16 08:31

      @ramon This law is about kids having sex. Younger then 16 - older then 12. It has nothing to do with consensual sex between adults - 16 upwards. The law states that kids can be criminally charged even if they had consensual sex, and the judge is trying to change it into not being criminal. This has nothing to do with lowering the age of consent, which is 16 BTW & not 18.

      richard.zanner - 2013-01-16 09:19

      @ Ramon. You have missed the point completely as well as the comment of @Johan. In fact is seems that over half the comments have missed the point.

      tamarind.boshoff - 2013-01-16 21:52

      @johan: They are worried for exactly that reason...because this P.O.S law made it into the statutes! How is it that people don't understand this?

  • don.frost.581 - 2013-01-16 09:02

    Lust is felt even by fleas and lice. Martin Luther (1483–1546)

      tamarind.boshoff - 2013-01-16 20:49

      Granted...but they do not have to deal with the consequences/potential life long implications of it.

  • chris.whittaker.9047 - 2013-01-16 09:06

    Jail is excessive but there should be measures in place to prevent underage sex. These kids are prepared to knowingly break the law but aren't prepared to face the consequences such as abortions because they face arrest. Are they really emotionally mature enough to have sex and possibly be parents? Can they provide for those kids when its illegal for anyone that age to work?

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2013-01-16 09:06

    It seems to me that there is nothing new or wrong in children exploring sex, however parents 'should' be preparing the kids for adolescence. Maybe parents do need some legislative support, but more importantly they need cultural/social/community support. Somehow the brakes need to be kept on rampant sexual activity amongst people who are not old enough to be accountable/responsible for the outcomes of their behaviours. But how do you instil such normative behaviours when it appears that you are the only one not doing it!

      richard.zanner - 2013-01-16 09:22

      @critically. I think the truth is that our bodies are designed to have sex at an earlier age but that society has tried to go against nature. In the distant past it was common for a girl of 12 to be married and have children. I am not trying to say that this is the way society should behave any longer and I certainly do not want my children to become sexually active so young but it seems that society and biology are a little at loggerheads. I accordingly agree with @critically that through education children must be dissuaded from this activity as the desire to be active is driven by hormones and that will not change.

  • charles.olivier.545 - 2013-01-16 09:25

    Screw the LAW and government!! touch my child and I'll kill you!!! that is a promise not a threat. The government is more concerned about human rights and fail to recognise a child whose life has been ripped to shreds by criminals {had better words but gets blocked} also as a human with more rights than that F*#king criminal... but no the pave the human rights for criminals so that when they get there they have a fun time... wake up!! you call yourself educated... - 2013-01-16 10:27

      Good grief Charles READ THE FRICKEN ARTICLE!!!

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2013-01-16 09:52

    Community work at an orphanage with babies and toddlers for a period of 3-9 months. Cleaning diapers, cleaning vomit, etc. (Depending on how long these situations were allowed). It should keep the children busy for a while and their brains occupied. A full report needs to be given at the end of the community work in order to evaluate if there will exist any troubled young people from the experience of the community work. A register also needs to be kept with the names. It can also have the reverse effect, but what else can you expect if sex is being "promoted" in schools with condoms freely available. It's an open invitation from the government to say that it is alright to experiment with what is supposed to be seen as a sacred act between consensual adults (not children). Alternatively start at the root of the problem, family values, working their way down into schools, bringing back the necessary discipline and respect for oneself and one selves body and others and then take it further. Mentioned as a possible idea to keep a child busy. Not perfect .

  • chelle.bellion - 2013-01-16 10:39

    The law was introduced to protect children under the age of 16 against sexual abuse, however, there is no getting away from the fact the kids as young as 12 are having "consensual sex" with partners as old as 18 & 19. When parents find out about the relationship they cry "rape" (which according to the law, it is). This then chokes up the judicial system and more "serious" cases are then delayed or even dropped. Parents have to play a much bigger role in their children's lives if we are going to put a stop to under age sex among teenagers. Although I don't agree with the ruling I do understand the magistrates point of view. I see many children through a course of a week that have fallen victim to brutal rape and I have to ask myself which is the lesser of the two evils, consensual sex (if a child of 12 years and upwards is capable of consenting) or real traumatising rape that destroys young lives?

  • robert.fouche.98 - 2013-01-16 11:26

    as a father of a 12 year old daughter, i warn all that made this law legal, that if a man has sex with my daughter before 16 years old, that i will kill this man on the steps of the justic Dept. and i will make sure the blood is not on my hands, but on the hands of people involved that brought this law forward and made it legal, and i will go straight home hug my daughter, wipe away her tears, and comfort her, then go and have a hot bath and go to sleep, leaving all involved that made this law, to pick up the pieces, and explain to that mans family, where there so-called loved one is. Many would think this is a stupid thing to do, writing this, but the way i see it i think the people involved in applying this law are even more stupid and obviosly either dont have children under 16 years old, or have no brains, and have been given a job that they dont have the mentality to do. so to you justice dept., the judge who ruled on this, the people involved who brought this forward, please please go and look up the meaning of the word JUSTICE because i will say it to your face that you have no idea at all what it means. You think our contry was ruined by APARTHEID, you hwould be wrong, it was ruined by people like you, do stupid things like this that ruined this coutry, now if you dont have anything to do, please start a cooking class instead of make laws like this, it really makes stupid. Robert Fouche

      willa.prinsloo - 2013-01-16 11:45

      You can write, so why can't you read ?

      patrick.mampane - 2013-01-16 12:04

      OMG. Lol

      christoffvstaden - 2013-01-16 12:31

      @robert.fouche.98 If your daughter & her boyfriend(they are both the same age) decides, by mutual consent, to have sex will you kill her b/friend?

  • zolanqa - 2013-01-16 14:02

    Cry, the Beloved Country....

  • ryan.cosgrave - 2013-01-16 17:18

    I'm sorry but all the people here trying to stand up against Raymond and Adele,are the people who don't understand the implications of the law. What this law is doing,is allowing any child between 12 and 16 to have sex with another in the same age group.How is this going to stop unwanted pregnancy when you are now allowing the kids to go ahead and have sex? The law was there for a reason,to show that having sex at that age is wrong, but now what? now you take away that law,what does that tell you,or tell your kids? its okay to have sex now that they are 12-15?Its okay if i get pregnant?The reason countries have a legal limit is because anyone under 16 is not emotionally and psychologically mature enough to make that choice,regardless if the other person is the same age or not. It is not a decision a person so young should be making. Yes i agree, the current law is to strict, don't send the child to prison, that wont help, but there should still be punishment! the country already struggles with the amount of teenage pregnancies that happen, and now you want to allow it to occur more?The worst of it i think, is that this was brought forward by two organizations who are supposed to be helping children! Can you not see that something is extremely wrong when a group dedicated to helping kids are now trying to allow those kids to have sex with each other?

      ryan.cosgrave - 2013-01-16 17:20

      I assume most of you are against abortion? this law tells those kids that they can go ahead and get a abortion, i wont be punished, its fine...

      Kaifas.Maja - 2013-01-16 23:04

      Its amazing how many people missed that fact. "Kids are not psychologically ready". You have people not even ready well into their twenties

  • phorane.thokoane - 2013-01-16 17:30

    Looking at most of the comments on this article, I understand why our under 16's are having sex........ Us parents cannot reason anymore, even if we tried...... We seem to get emotional with every little issue that comes our way and say the first thing that comes to mind, without considering the stated facts or consequence..... It is every parent's wish that their child do not experiment with sex until they are old enough to take responsibility for their actions...... But children will have sex whether us parents like it or not, therefore it is up to a parent to teach their children right and wrong, and to take responsibility for their own bodies and their actions......... There is just no other way of dealing with this issue.......

  • tamarind.boshoff - 2013-01-16 21:10

    OK, I'm not a parent, but I think this is ridiculous!(And from the parents I have spoken to about this, so do they! Honestlu, my heart goes out to all of you) Who is going to end up responsible for the offspring of a 12year old? AND how is it legal to have sex when you are not old enough to even work?!? So, you are 12, fall pregnant, have the child when you are about 13 and become yet another statistic and a burden on your family. In what parallel universe are kids that young emotionally equipped to deal with sex and all it involves? Not to mention the potential rejection and humiliation if a baby should be conceived. Besides all of that, how many girls in their early teens still have puppy fat,no breasts, haven't yet become women, come from sheltered backgrounds and are totally unaware of what sex actually entails? Granted, they would have a brief sex ed from school

  • Kaifas.Maja - 2013-01-16 21:24

    I used to think we can make a diference in south africa, but it seems no matter how hard people try. The powers that be are trying their best to ruin our future. In what world is it okay for a 12 year old to have sex?, a 12yr old is not mature nor smart enough to make life changing decisions of this scale. First it was decreasing the passing average to 30 percent, now 12yr old are allowed to have sex?. Are we really going to do this to our kids?, do we not care what happens to them?. If government doesn't do anything about this, then it will have proved to me that there will be no hope for this country.

      tamarind.boshoff - 2013-01-16 21:28

      Agree with you! Unfortunately that involves government admitting a mistake... Guess we can expect the next generation to be barely literate baby production lines.

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