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Sex act amendments could take weeks

Women’s Legal Centre says police remain powerless with the current Sexual Offences Act.

Justice in action

CAPE TOWN - The Sexual Offences Amendment Bill should be finalised in the next couple of weeks, the Women's Legal Centre said on Tuesday.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development discussed the bill on Tuesday.

The amendments come after a Riversdale magistrate ruled that a man who forcibly fondled a woman could not be sentenced.

This was because there was no penalty clause for the offence.

Earlier in May, the decision was then upheld by the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was granted leave to appeal the ruling.

The centre's Sanja Bornman said there is not much police could do until that appeal was finalised or until the loopholes were closed.

"At the moment, police will open dockets, take statements and then investigate. However, no arrests will be made at this point."