MEC condemns Sexual Offences Act

2012-05-18 07:17

Cape Town - Sexual offenders may get off scot-free as some offences under the Sexual Offences Act have no penalty, Western Cape MEC Albert Fritz said on Thursday.

"Of the 29 sexual offences described in chapters 2, 3 and 4 of the Sexual Offences Act, none carries any penalty. In other words, these heinous crimes are not punishable in law," he said.

"This is a gross oversight and an affront on the rights of women and children to be protected from sexual predators."

On Friday, the Western Cape High Court upheld a decision by the Riversdale Magistrate's Court that a man who forcibly fondled a woman could not be sentenced because the behaviour had no penalty under the act.

Other offences without a penalty are sexual assault, consensual sexual acts with children, sexual exploitation and grooming of children, and sexual offences against mentally disabled people, said Fritz.

He said the High Court also found there was no recourse to the common law as the equivalent common law crimes were ousted by the Sexual Offences Act.

"We need legislation that protects vulnerable citizens, with strong enough punitive measures to deter would-be offenders."

The MEC had requested an urgent meeting with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to discuss the act.

  • allen.visser - 2012-05-18 08:13

    Wow, our SA law doesnt feel the need to punish sexual assault on children and mentally disabled people? I would say our culture is becoming more animalistic...but come to think of it....Ive never seen an animal sexually assault its young or weak.

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-18 08:41

    The current government is made up of individuals from many ethnic backgrounds. Several of those ethnic groups believe that it is a young man's rite of passage to take a young woman when he feels the urge - whether or not she wishes to do so. Now you have these people making our laws. They are applying their 3rd world mentality to a first world problem. Rape is a crime that used to carry the death penalty. Now they don't even bother to report each incidence of rape as a separate story, they are all grouped together in a single article. The prez's rape episode is a prime example of how seriously he views this particular crime. If he believes that it is of no consequence then so will all those who follow him. Pity he is such a very bad role model for the men of South Africa. All those women, all those children ... And he still gets a say in the law - its a disgrace.

      Benita - 2012-05-18 10:22

      I so totally agree with you, and perhaps needless to add: whether some of us wants to admit it or not: if you don't know the God who created you and who were the master brain behind everything (sex in cluded), you will act, think and behave just like an animal with no concience and understanding of the value of life.

  • Genesistt - 2012-05-18 08:52

    I'm speechless! If the people writing the laws think so little of the protection of women and children, it's no surprise every other news story is about a woman or a child getting raped.

  • karen.vdnest - 2012-05-18 09:16

    Uhm, wouldn't this have an impact on the sentencing or the group of kids who gang raped the mentality challenged teenager from Soweto? Or the sentencing of the Pretoria family who is accused of making and distributing child pornography, as well as sexual grooming of the children. I can just see their attorneys licking their lips at the thought of getting them off with a lesser sentence. And this also creates a ton of loopholes for other cases. Just asking, was wondering about the implication of this revelation.

  • malcolm.dale - 2012-05-18 09:31

    I see that the mind set that had this law enacted seems to be reverting to the life style of one of humanity's closest relative in the animal world - the Bonobo ape. I am given to understand that they may have sexual activity upto 80 times per day and not with the same partner - there is no monogamity here - question - is humanity depraved enough to want to better that score at any cost ?

  • Benita - 2012-05-18 10:15

    This does not surprise me at all. This is one of the reasons why SA is in such a poor moral state. The social, emotional and personal boundaries have never been set properly and some of us in this country don't even have the basic knowledge of what a sexual offence is, or is not. This points to poor education and a cluelessness about personal safety. To give an example: 70% of children aged 5-9 years who were taking part in a survey done by a group who does social and emotional development for children in pre-primary & primary schools, couldn't describe a sexual offence, and would not or don't know that they should report, or even how to report a sexual offence against themselves. That means those children will not tell mommy if someone has touched their private parts in an inappropriate way, or made them do something they did not want to do. People think I am paranoid because I teach kids to say no, how to say no, how to avoid risky situations etc. We need to teach our children to protect themselves and never to trust anyone 100%, especially not strangers. I do feel that the internet and chat rooms or facebook/twitter is going to make it more difficult for all of us to control and protect the youth and ourselves against sexual offenders.

  • apocrypham - 2012-05-18 10:39

    WHAT you expect from this EVIL Goverment?

  • WhiteNut - 2012-05-18 17:09

    This man is confused, he says sexual offense against a mentally handicapped person is/will not be punishable. Nonsense, if you rape a mentally handicapped person you get the same sentence you would get if you raped a 'normal' person. Try it mr mec!

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