by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is confident three pieces of legislation he has signed into law will address the rampant gender-based violence in South Africa.
Last week, the president signed the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act and Domestic Violence Amendment Act into law.
Government has also tightened up the management of the National Register of Sex Offenders.
The Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act protects the vulnerable from secondary victimisation by allowing courts to appoint intermediaries through which a minor, a disabled person or an elderly person can be examined in proceedings.
It also allows for the extended use of evidence by means of an audio-visual link. This helps to shield a witness against harm, prevent unreasonable delays and save costs in proceedings.
The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act outlaws sexual exploitation and grooming of persons with mental disabilities, and provides that sexual offences against persons who are mentally disabled must be recorded in the National Register of Sex Offenders.
The Domestic Violence Amendment Act takes account of some of the complexities in violent domestic relationships.
“The passage of these new laws is a step in this direction,” Ramaphosa stated in his weekly letter on Monday.
He nonetheless noted this was not the solution.
“We must prevent violence and abuse from happening in the first place,” the president stated.
South Africa is grappling with gender-based violence, a scourge Ramaphosa has denounced as the second pandemic, after COVID-19.
– CAJ News