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Frankel 8: ConCourt to rule on court decision changing sex offences law

Earlier this year, the High Court declared Section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act unconstitutional.

FILE: 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 so-called Frankel 8 will go to the Constitutional Cour t on Tuesday to confirm a decision by the High Court in Johannesburg, which will see the law on sexual offences changed.

Earlier this year, the High Court declared Section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act unconstitutional.

This meant that the 20-year prescription bar on sexual offences will be lifted if the Constitutional Court confirms the decision.

Philanthropist and stockbroker Sidney Frankel is accused of abusing eight people decades ago when they were children.

The Frankel 8 approached the High Court in an attempt to change the law, as it prevented victims of sexual abuse from criminally charging their abusers 20 years after the crime was committed.

While the High Court made the decision to change the law, it is now up to the Constitutional Court to decide whether it will uphold the High Court’s judgment or to amend it.

Frankel 8 lawyer Ian Levitt explains: “In terms of our law, the Constitutional Court has to confirm the order by the High Court earlier this year. So, there won’t be a full re-arguing of the matter.”

No one is opposing the application, but the Minister of Justice will argue that the order be suspended, so that Parliament can correct the defect in the law.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)