The Constitutional Court. File picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse
The Constitutional Court. File picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse

ConCourt to rule on underage sex

By SAPA Time of article published Oct 2, 2013

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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will rule on Thursday on a lower court finding that provisions in the Sexual Offences Act criminalise children who have consensual sex.

The court reserved judgment in May on an application by the Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children, and Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

They asked the court to confirm a judgment of the High Court in Pretoria that sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Act are unconstitutional because they require the prosecution of children involved in consensual kissing, petting, and penetrative sex.

The act, as it stands, has criminal implications for children between the ages of 12 and 16 who engage in consensual sexual activities.

Any individual who has knowledge of these acts, such as a parent, health worker, or teacher, is required by law to report the children or face prosecution.

The children, if found guilty, could have their names included on the National Sex Offenders Register.

The respondents are the minister of justice and the National Director of Public Prosecutions.


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