Save the Children has launched an online petition calling on Police Minister Bheki Cele to make the National Registrar for Sex Offenders public. Photographer:Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN - Child rights organisation Save the Children has launched an online petition calling on Police Minister Bheki Cele to make the National Registrar for Sex Offenders (NSRO) public.

The NSRO is not available to the general public, but only to those who employ people who work with children or disabled people.

The list helps with protection by ensuring the names of sex offenders are registered in order to prevent them from working with children and the disabled.

Nicolette Myburgh, the director of social services at Tutela, a community-based non-profit organisation with a group of autonomous organisations, including Save the Children, said that the information could prove vital for many South Africans, especially since cases of sexual offences were so high.

Myburgh said you could use the Protection of Information Act to access the information, adding there were processes involved in it.

“Children in South Africa are at risk and if a person doesn’t disclose (their status), you will never know if they are a sex offender,” Myburgh said.

She said that generally there was a good reception to the petition, with many people throwing their weight behind it.

Myburgh said Save the Children wanted harsher sentencing for sexual offenders.

Cele’s spokesperson, Reneilwe Serero, said they had not received such a petition.

-  THE MERCURY