Sexual crime courts may return

There is a possibility that specialised sexual crimes courts may be re-established across the country.

Court Gravel: Picture: RSC Inc

CAPE TOWN - Non-governmental organisation Childline on Monday said if specialised sexual crimes courts are to be fully reinstated, they must be well resourced.

Earlier in 2012, the Justice Ministry launched a pilot project resulting in at least 60 such courts being set up, temporarily, across the country.

The courts were initially shut down in 2006.

A report on the pilot project is expected soon, but the fact that the police service has re-established its family violence and child protection units could be an indication that specialised sexual crimes courts are a certainty.

However, Childline's Joan van Niekerk warned, "It really does require quite advanced training. Often we come across specialised sexual courts in which there have been maybe a week of specialised training."

Numerous shortcomings in the implementation of the child justice act in the criminal justice system have emerged.

Van Niekerk said the specialised courts must have personnel fully versed in the act for it to be effective.

The country has an extremely high sexual offence case database.

According to Interpol, South Africa is the rape capital of the world.

The report went on to say a woman is raped every 17 seconds in the country.

However, according to latest crime statistics, sexual offences have dropped by 3.7 percent.