Victims of all sexual offences will no longer have to lay criminal charges within 20 years after the attack. There will now be no limit on the time to institute criminal proceedings against perpetrators, as currently provisioned in the Criminal Procedure Act. This follows a Constitutional Court ruling on Thursday to uphold a decision that section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which did not allow all victims of sexual abuse to lay criminal charges 20 years after the incident occurred, was unconstitutional and invalid. However, the declaration of invalidity has been suspended for 24 months to allow Parliament to change the law. Section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act stated that all sexual offences other than rape, compelled rape, human trafficking for sexual purposes and using a child or person who is mentally disabled for pornographic reasons, could not be criminally prosecuted after a period of 20 years had lapsed from the time the offence was committed. The judgment comes aft...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.