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Cabinet approves changes to sexual offences law

The proposed Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill will also extend the list of sexual offences with respect to prosecution.

Minister of Communications Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Cabinet has approved the introduction of new legislation that will see sexual offenders prosecuted even if their crimes date back 20 years.

The announcement was made by Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane at a post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday.

The proposed Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill will also extend the list of sexual offences with respect to prosecution.

Mokonyane says the proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Act will have an impact on recent high-profile cases of rape and sexual assault.

One such case is that of former African National Congress (ANC) MP Jennifer Ferguson, who after 25 years accused soccer boss Danny Jordaan of raping her at a hotel in Port Elizabeth.

“Sometimes it can take a while for the victim(s) to break the silence. So, it’s that intervention, and it will help the current development because now they will be a basis, in terms of the law, to prosecute such crimes.”

The amendments to the law will give effect to the South Gauteng High Court judgment in the Levenstein case, which ruled on the “expiry date” of sexual offences.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)