A judgment for a new law

President Cyril Ramaphosa has outlined 3 new laws in South Africa that are specifically placed to target what the country has been struggling with, Gender-Based Violence.

As stated on the president’s caption on Twitter, “through the introduction of these bills, we are honouring the promise we made to the protesters last year and to all the women of this country.”

Read below to see the additions of the new laws, taken from the Desk of the President:

The first is the Bill to amend the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act. This creates a new offence of sexual intimidation, extends the ambit of the offence of incest, and extends the reporting duty of persons who suspect a sexual offence has been committed against a child.
It expands the scope of the National Register for Sex Offenders to include the particulars of all sex offenders. Until now, it has only applied to sex offenders convicted of sex crimes perpetrated against children or persons with mental disabilities. The time an offender’s particulars must remain on the register has been increased, and those listed on the register will have to disclose this when they submit applications to work with persons who are vulnerable. The Bill also makes provision for the names of persons on the National Register for Sex Offenders to be publicly available.

He further goes on regarding the changes on the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill as well as the Domestic Violence Act 

The Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill tightens, among others, the granting of bail to perpetrators of gender-based violence and femicide, and expands the offences for which minimum sentences must be imposed.

We have tightened the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act.
 Domestic violence is now defined to cover those in engagements, dating, in customary relationships, and actual or perceived romantic, intimate or sexual relationships of any duration. The Bill also extends the definition of ‘domestic violence’ to include the protection of older persons against abuse by family members.

In relation to the Domestic Violence act, if someone has knowledge, reasonable belief or suspicion that an act of domestic violence has been committed against a child, a person with disability or an older person and fails to report it to a social worker or police officer they can be fined and even imprisoned.

For more blog posts on different topics, read here.

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