The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has noted the judgement by Rabie J in the matter between Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and Rapcan versus Minister of Justice and National Director of Public Prosecutions.
His judgement declared certain sections of the Sexual Offences (and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 invalid as they are deemed inconsistent with the Constitution.
These are section 15 and 16 which criminalise consensual penetration between children under the age of 16 years and above 12 years and section 56 (2)(b) of the Act.
We are currently studying the judgement and reflecting on all the legal issues canvassed therein with a view to exploring whether there are valid grounds upon which an appeal can be lodge as this judgement has far-reaching implications in the escalating rate of sexual violence among children under the age of 16 years as seen in many cases dealt with by law enforcement and our courts.
The decision to appeal or not will be determined after a proper analysis of the judgement and will take into consideration the interest and rights of the children as dictated by the Constitution.
Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development