by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa is on the verge of the most far-reaching legislative overhaul in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.
President Cyril Ramaphosa assured the nation that is has seen women bear the deadly brunt of the scourge that has coincided with the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He wrote in his weekly later, a year after thousands of women, men and children marched to Parliament to protest against a spate of rapes and killings of women and girls.
Over the past week, three key bills relating to gender-based violence have been introduced in Parliament.
“Through the introduction of these Bills, we are honouring the promise we made to the protestors last year and to all the women of this country,” Ramaphosa.
The legislation include the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill of 2020; National Register for Sexual Offences and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill.
Ramaphosa said the amendment bills are designed to fill the gaps that allow some perpetrators of these crimes to evade justice and to give full effect to the rights of South Africa’s women and children.
“The sad reality is that many survivors of gender-based violence have lost faith in the criminal justice system,” he said.
It is envisaged the bills would address such issues as difficulties in obtaining protection orders, lax bail condition for suspects, police not taking domestic violence complaints seriously and inappropriate sentences.
– CAJ News