PRETORIA, South Africa's National Assembly has passed two pieces of legislation clamping down on sexual offences and child pornography. The House adopted the Judicial Matters Amandment Bill as well as the Film and Publications Amndment Bill.

South Africa has seen an outcry over the spate of gruesome murders and kidnappings of women and children.

Statistics for the 2015/16 financial year show that there were over 51,000 cases of sexual offences. This translates to 145 cases per day, 42,000 women were raped during the same period and this translated to 117 per day.

The National Assembly has now passed legislation to establish of sexual offences courts.

African National Congresses' (ANC) Bongani Bongo says, The ANC government has supported this and we strongly believe that removing the exclusivity in this particular bill will make sure that issues that are a serious cry for the nation, around issues of rape and the abuse of women, will be catered for in every court, in every jurisdiction of the court everywhere.

The Democratic Alliances (DA) Werner Horn says, To ensure that dedicated and exclusive sexual offences courts are maintained and rolled out in by the department rather than a hybrid system in which courts deal with other cases along with sexual offences.

We further propose that townships and remote rural areas be prioritised and in 2018 sexual offences should have been established in those places, says Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Sam Matiase.

Meanwhile, the Inkatha Freedom Party's (IFP) Professor Temba Msimang says, The accused may also have committed other offences which do not constitute sexual offences. Consequently it might be desirable that all the committed offences are tried in one case.

The sad part is that these statistics high as they may be are based on reported cases and that the reality is far worse reflected in these statistics, says National Freedom Party's (NFP) Sibusiso Mncwabe.

The African Christian Democratic Party's (ACDP) Steve Swart says, It is crucial that survivors of rape and sexual offences need to have their matters heard in those specially designated courts where you have skills, prosecutors, magistrates, social workers who are able to assist those victims and ensure that they don't go through secondary trauma.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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