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Frankel Eight have legal standing despite accused’s death

A court is hearing an application, by Sydney Frankel's accusers, to have the law on prescription changed even after he died last month.

Several people claiming to have been sexually assaulted by billionaire Sidney Frankel as children during the 1970s and 1980s have laid a civil claim against the businessman. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – The lawyer acting for Sidney Frankel's accusers say they have legal standing to bring an application to change the law on sexual offences because they are acting in the public interest.

The High Court in Johannesburg is hearing an application to have the law on prescription changed.

The eight came forward in 2013 claiming they were abused by the billionaire philanthropist decades ago when they were children.

Advocate Anton Katz arguing for the so-called Frankel Eight says that his clients do have legal standing to bring this application despite the fact that Sidney Frankel died last month.

He says they are acting in the public interest and according to the law they are entitled to do so.

Katz says his clients want the law on the prescription of sexual offences to be changed immediately as it's unconstitutional.

Three other parties, who are friends of the court, want a 24 month period to allow Parliament to be involved in changing the legislation.

Currently, the law states that sexual offences excluding rape expire after a 20-year period.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)