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NPA to withdraw cases against 'sex offenders'

The National Prosecuting Authority will withdraw cases against people charged under the Sexual Offences Act

The NPA said it will withdraw cases against people charged under the Sexual Offences Act in the Western Cape. Picture: Stock .xchang

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Saturday confirmed that it will withdraw cases against people charged under the Sexual Offences Act in the Western Cape.

The announcement follows a landmark decision by the Western Cape High Court last week, to release Arnold Prins.

Prins was accused of a 2009 sexual assault, in terms of the act.

The court released him because the country's Sexual Offences Act does not prescribe penalties for at least 29 sexual crimes described in the legislation. The crimes include consensual sex acts with children and sexual offences against the mentally disabled.

The NPA said it had appealed the court's decision. 

It added that the ruling does not affect other provinces.

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said if people have not yet pleaded, the prosecuting authority will withdraw cases until the Supreme Court of Appeals gives a ruling on its appeal.

Rape is one of the offences listed in Chapter 2 of the act, but rape is covered under the Criminal Law Amendment Act, so convicted rapists will stay in jail.