BLOEMFONTEIN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape has welcomed a Bloemfontein court’s decision to uphold their appeal on the Sexual Offences Act.
Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruled in the NPA's favour.
This means perceived loopholes in the Sexual Offences Act have effectively been closed.
In May, the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town upheld a Riversdale magistrate's decision not to sentence a man for forcibly fondling a woman.
This after the act had no penalty for at least 28 offences.
The NPA's Mthunzi Mhaga said the courts will now use their discretion when sentencing.
“It will definitely bolster our aggressive approach to prosecuting cases of sexual abuse. We’ll now ask the Western Cape to reinstate cases that have been withdrawn, as well as proceed with cases that are pending before court.”
Advocate Sanya Bornman from the Women's Legal Centre said she was relieved that the confusion had been cleared up.
“The courts have always had the power to be able to sentence.”
(Edited by Tamsin Wort)