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Three proposed GBV bills get more support

Published Sep 27, 2021


CAPE TOWN - The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has concurred with the three Gender-Based Violence Bills, which had been passed by the National Assembly during June.

The development of the bills follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise of an emergency plan on the steps of Parliament on September 5, 2019, which included that no parole and no bail would be granted to perpetrators of crimes against women and children.

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Two of the bills - the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment bill, have since been sent back to the National Assembly, while the the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill was sent to Ramaphosa for consideration.

Chairperson for the anti-GBV organisation Ilitha Labantu, Siyabulela Monakale said they welcomed the developments on the bills, saying it would go a long way in the fight against the scourge of GBVF.

“However our primary concern is the implementation of these pieces of legislation, as South Africa has a tendency to have great legislative frameworks however implementation has tended to pose a significant challenge. We hope that through the amendments proposed in these three Bills that the rights and dignity of victims/survivors will be better protected, and that it will strengthen the criminal justice system to ensure that harsh penalties are imposed on those found guilty of GBVF…

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Enquiries to the presidency had not been answered by deadline on Sunday.

Parliament had said the summit resolved, among others, “to fast track the review of existing laws and policies on gender-based violence making them victim-centred, ensure all other relevant laws respond to GBV, revisit and fast track all outstanding laws and bills that relate to GBVF” and in particular the legislation regulating the National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO).

Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act and the Criminal Law Amendment Act are to “further regulate the granting and cancellation of bail and the right of a complainant in a domestic-related offence to participate in parole proceedings; amend the Criminal Law Amendment Act to further regulate sentences in respect of offences that have been committed against vulnerable persons.

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Cape Times