South Africa: More Names to Be Added to the National Register for Sexual Offenders

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Five months after South Africa was swept with marches against gender-based violence, the president has amended the Sexual Offences Act.

In 2019, women in South Africa protested and drew up petitions demanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa take gender-based violence seriously and come up with solutions. At his State of the Nation Address 2020 on Thursday 13 February, Ramaphosa announced that the Sexual Offences Act would be amended "to broaden the categories of sex offenders whose names must be included in the National Register for Sex Offenders".

The National Register for Sex Offenders is a database that lists the names of sexual offenders who have been found guilty of sexual offences against minors and mentally ill people.

It was established in 2007 in an effort to "curb the prevalence of sexual offences in South Africa." Those on the register will not be able to work with children and mentally ill people. Employers who are looking to hire someone to work with children and mentally ill people may request this information from the Department of Social Development.

The register is directly accessible to the national registrar for sex offenders. It is indirectly accessible to the Department of Social Development, the Department of...

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