Though welcoming Cabinet’s announcement on Thursday’s that the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill has been approved, Action Society supports Herman Mashaba’s belief that harsher sentencing for rapists should be considered.
The South African entrepreneur, politician and the former Mayor of Johannesburg stated that he want to engage with the people of South Africa on sentences that would stop sex offenders from repeating their crimes. “We cannot afford to be soft on criminals; it is apparent that they do not operate with such a constraint of conscience. When you consider how rape destroys the lives of the victims, I would not lose a minute’s sleep over this kind of punishment.”
In June Action Society launched the “Know your neighbour” campaign urging government to amend the Sexual Offences Act; allowing the names of 42 289-convicted rapists to be added to the National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO). Currently the database only consists of sexual offenders who have been found guilty of sexual offences against minors and mentally disabled people. The list, that is kept confidential, excludes the names of convicted rapists in general, which must be added for the safety and security of our communities — especially the most vulnerable.
The civil rights group also instructed their legal team to appeal to the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) in order for the NRSO to be made freely available.
“By updating the NRSO with the names of all rapists and making their identities public, we can stop perpetrators from repeated crimes,” says Daleen Gouws, spokesperson of Action Society.
With one person being murdered every 27 minutes and a woman raped every minute, South Africa sordidly trophies its place on the world’s top five list in terms of murder and top three in terms of rape. “This epidemic of crime has touched us all. You will not find a South African who has not either been a victim of crime, or had someone close to them experience this trauma,” Mashaba said.
In a country where government lacks the power to enforce safety and security, transparency in our communities seems to be the only option to safeguard our women and children. Action Society seeks public support concerning their petition (https://www.actionsociety.co.za/national-register) that urges government to update the NRSO and to make it publicly available before another life is ruined.
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 11 August 2020
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Spokesperson: Action Society,