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Sexual Offences and Related Matters Amendment Act in Effect Soon

July 29, 2022

The Presidency

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Act comes into effect on 31 July 2022.

Proclamation 79 was published in Government Gazette 47105.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill was tabled in parliament in 2020 designed to fight the scourge of gender-based violence.

Cabinet approved the bill for tabling in parliament at the beginning of August 2020.

In a statement, cabinet pointed out that the bill amends the National Register for Sex Offenders by broadening its scope to not only protect children and mentally disabled persons but all vulnerable groups.

Persons listed in the register are compelled to disclose this information when they submit applications to work with vulnerable groups.

According to the bill’s memorandum, the bill forms part of South Africa’s commitment to address the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that have reached endemic proportions in the country.

Parliament gave the green light to the bill in September 2021.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Act aims to:

• extend the ambit of the offence of incest;
• introduce a new offence of sexual intimidation;
• substitute the phrase ‘‘a person who is mentally disabled’’ or ‘‘persons who are mentally disabled’’ wherever the phrase appears with the phrase ‘‘a person with a mental disability’’ or ‘‘persons with mental disabilities’’;
• further regulate the inclusion of particulars of persons in the National Register for Sex Offenders;
• extend the list of persons who are to be protected in terms of Chapter 6 of the Act;
• extend the list of persons who are entitled to submit applications to the Registrar of the National Register for Sex Offenders;
• further regulate the removal of particulars of persons from the National Register for Sex Offenders; and
• further regulate the reporting duty of persons who are aware that sexual offences have been committed against persons who are vulnerable, and
• provide for matters connected therewith.