Sexual Offences Bill tabled in Parliament

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Amendment Bill—which widens the definition of rape—has been tabled in Parliament.

The bill emanates from the South African Law Reform Commission’s report on sexual offences. It has introduced distinct offences, namely rape, sexual violation and oral genital violation.

Committing a sexual act within the view of a child below the age of 16 or a mentally impaired person has been criminalised. The bill sets out that the only defence now available to a person who has had sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 is to prove that he was deceived into believing that the child was older.

The crime of incest has been made gender neutral with the introduction of a new definition of sexual penetration.
The bill has also placed an obligation on a person convicted of a sexual offence to disclose this if he applies for employment which would place him in a position of authority over children. - Sapa

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