Call for rul­ing on sex crimes

Pretoria News - - NEWS - SHAIN GERMANER

BESTIALITY. Ne­crophilia. Adult con­sen­sual in­cest. Par­lia­ment needs to de­cide on the se­ri­ous­ness of th­ese crimes, and whether or not they should pre­scribe af­ter 20 years.

Be­cause of this, the Con­sti­tu­tional Court should not make a blan­ket rul­ing al­low­ing any­one to re­port any sex­ual crime more than two decades af­ter it has taken place.

This was the ar­gu­ment of Jus­tice Min­is­ter Michael Ma­sutha yes­ter­day, through his lawyer, Steven Budlen­der.

The so-called “Frankel 8” have spent years op­pos­ing the cur­rent leg­is­la­tion around sex­ual as­sault. Ear­lier this year they were fi­nally suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing a rul­ing at the Joburg High Court that of­fi­cially stated the ir­ra­tional­ity of Sec­tion 18 of the Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Act.

This sec­tion states that vic­tims of sex­ual as­sault – among other sex crimes, ex­clud­ing rape – may not open up a crim­i­nal case more than 20 years af­ter the in­ci­dents oc­cur.

The group of eight only came to­gether decades af­ter they were al­legedly abused as chil­dren by phi­lan­thropist, Sid­ney Frankel, and were shocked to dis­cover they were un­able to crim­i­nally charge him for his years of sex­ual ad­vances.

For more than two years, the Frankel 8 – through their lawyers, Ian Le­vitt and An­ton Katz – ar­gued the un­con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of this sec­tion. They were fi­nally vin­di­cated ear­lier this year by Act­ing Judge Claire Hart­ford, who said the leg­is­la­tion must be changed.

The apex court re­served judg­ment.

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