Free-for-All for Sex Offenders: State Must Close Legislative Loopholes | Western Cape Government


Free-for-All for Sex Offenders: State Must Close Legislative Loopholes

17 May 2012

Media Statement by Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development

This week, the Western Cape High Court has confirmed that nearly all categories of sex offenders are immune from punishment in South Africa due to loopholes in the Sexual Offences Act. On Friday, the court upheld a decision by the Riversdale Magistrate's Court that a respondent charged with forcibly fondling a woman could not be sentenced because there is no penalty for such behaviour in the new Sexual Offences Act.

In fact, of the 29 sexual offences described in chapters 2, 3 and 4 of the Sexual Offences Act, none carries any penalty. In other words, these heinous crimes are not punishable by law. The High Court has also found that there is no recourse to the common law as the equivalent common law crimes were ousted by the Sexual Offences Act.

This is a gross oversight and an affront on the rights of women and children to be protected from sexual predators.

I have written to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development requesting an urgent meeting on this matter. We need legislation that protects vulnerable citizens, with strong enough punitive measures to deter would-be offenders.

Media Enquiries: 

Tollfree: 0800 220 250