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High Court to decide on changes to child abuse laws

The so called Frankel eight are hoping that acting judge Clare Hartford hands down a ruling today that will change the country’s laws on child abuse.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG – The High Court in Johannesburg will decide on Monday whether it will be possible to criminally charge abusers more than twenty years after they were sexually assaulted children.

The so-called Frankel Eight went to court to have Section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act declared unlawful.

The eight, who accused stockbroker Sidney Frankel of abusing them decades ago when they were children, want the law to change so that criminal charges could be brought against abusers more than twenty years after the crimes were committed.

They are hoping that acting Judge Clare Hartford hands down a ruling today that will change the country’s laws on child abuse.

Frankel died earlier this year, so the decision will be inconsequential to possible criminal charges in their own case but applicant Shane Rothquel says it’s no longer just about them.

Hartford could decide to change the twenty year prescription period for just children or for children and adults. She could also decide to change the law immediately or to send the legislation to Parliament to be amended.