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NPA to reinstate charges against free man

The NPA plans to reinstate its case against Arnold Prins, who was accused of a 2009 sexual assault.

'Lady Justice' from POWA demonstrate's outside the Johannesburg High Court on 6 March, 2009. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Western Cape plans to reinstate its case against Arnold Prins, who was accused of forcibly fondling a woman.

In May, the Western Cape High Court upheld a Riversdale magistrate's findings that Prins could not be sentenced, as the crime he was being accused of did not have a penalty clause in the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act.

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

The act, which was effected in December 2007, says it is against the law to sexually assault someone - but does not prescribe a punishment.

A total of 29 sexual offences, which include consensual sex acts with children and sexual offences against the mentally disabled, did not have penalty clauses.

But loopholes in the legislation were closed after the Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the NPA's appeal to the High Court.

Attorney at the Women's Legal Centre Sanja Bornman says it is a relief the confusion has now been cleared.

"There can now be absolutely no doubt about what needs to happen to people who commit sexual offences."