Ramaphosa signs into law 3 anti-GBV bills, bringing more protection to victims

These new changes will - among others - allow victims to make online protection order applications without being present in court.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday signed into law three anti-gender-based violence bills that will afford victims of such violence more protection.

These new changes will - among others - allow victims to make online protection order applications without being present in court.

The amendment bills signed into law are the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill.

One key change in the legislation to protect women, is that protection order applications can be submitted 24-hours a day.

Victims also don’t have to present in court when a magistrate grants an interim protection order.

The Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill will now further regulate the publication of information, which reveals or may reveal the identity of an accused, a witness or person against whom an offence has allegedly been committed who is under the age of 18 years.

The changes to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act will extend the ambit of the offence of incest and introduce a new offence of sexual intimidation.

It also makes provision for certain particulars of persons convicted of sexual offences to be made publicly available.