Sex offences amendment signed and published

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The amended Sexual Offences Act has been signed by President Jacob Zuma and published in the Government Gazette, closing a legal loophole that made 29 offences unpunishable, The Star reported on Friday.

Zuma signed the amended act on June 23, and it was published in the gazette three days later, the newspaper reported.

The amendment was rushed through Parliament weeks earlier as an emergency measure after a full bench of the Western Cape High Court ruled that 29 sexual offences contained in the act were not legally enforceable.

Sexual offenders could have challenged their convictions, so MPs drafted an amendment "in record time".

The National Prosecuting Authority appealed the Cape court's judgment in the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the ruling was overturned.

This means the loopholes had been plugged, The Star reported.

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