PARLIAMENT - South Africa is set to review legislation which dictates the expiry date by which the State can pursue prosecution against perpetrators of crime, specifically sexual offences, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said on Wednesday.

"It has also become necessary to review the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 which, among other things, prescribes the period within which the State can prosecute persons for allegations of particular categories of crime," Masutha said while delivering his budget vote speech in Parliament. 

"One of the categories in respect of which we intend to abolish the prescribed period of 20 years is sexual offences, femicide and all forms of gender-based violence. The review will also introduce harsher sentences for these offences."

South Africa has a high prevalence of sexual offences against women and children, and there's been a recent wave of women killed by their partners.

Last year, the high court in Johannesburg ruled in favour of eight alleged victims of billionaire stockbroker, Sidney Frankel, who claimed they had been abused by the philanthropist when they were still children. Frankel died of cancer three months before the ruling.

The court set aside the prescription date for sexual offences to be investigated and prosecuted by the State.

African News Agency