Call for ruling on sex crimes
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.