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‘Change to sexual offences law should only be confined to children’

Sidney Frankel’s eight accusers have gone to the High Court in an attempt to have parts of the Criminal Procedure Act declared invalid.

FILE: Justice Minister Michael Masutha. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers for the Minister of Justice Michael Masutha have argued that a change to the law around sexual abuse and prescription should only be confined to children.

Sidney Frankel’s eight accusers have gone to the High Court in Johannesburg in an attempt to have parts of the Criminal Procedure Act declared invalid.

According to the law, the crime of sexual assault prescribes a 20-year period.

Legal counsel for the Minister of Justice Michael Masutha has argued there should be a suspension of the declaration of invalidity of sections of Criminal Procedure Act.

This would allow the legislature an opportunity to intervene and to consider other implications of changing the law.

The minister is not opposing the application brought by the Frankel Eight, but he wants the change in the law to be restricted to how it affects children and not all individuals.

The friends of the court the Women’s Legal Centre, the Teddy Bear Clinic and lawyers for human rights all want a broader change, saying the law should not be altered.

Judgment has been reserved.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)