It’s 2019, and in May the country voted in its sixth democratic election. Like in 1993, Doc Martens and plaid are in fashion. Ministers and Presidents have changed again, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) getting the youngest Minister in President Ramaphosa’s Cabinet – Ronald Lamola.
Tag Archive for: law
The Wynberg Project, described in Part 1 of this series, proved to be a success – the court maintained a conviction rate of up to 80 percent over a period of a year (1993). This meant that four in five cases that went to court resulted in a conviction – the perpetrator went to jail.[i]
INTRODUCTION We’re going to tell you a story that has four parts. It’s a complicated story, but we’re going to try to tell it in a simple way. It is a story where language and meanings change. The very definition of words and crimes change. But, the attitudes and norms of society don’t change very […]
The Rape Survivors’ Justice Campaign has been working for almost two years advocating for the establishment of a sexual offences court at the Khayelitsha court. While the advocacy and engagement process is never easy we feel we have made some steady progress in working towards this goal. As we plan our next protest to advocate for sexual offences courts during the 16 Days of Activism campaign we thought we would reflect on just how far we have come since we started this project in 2016.
Early on in the Rape Survivors’ Justice Campaign we, together with community members, expressed support for the establishment of a sexual offences court in Khayelitsha. During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence in December 2016 we gathered as a community in front of the Khayelitsha court to demand a dedicated sexual offences court be built. At the end of our protest during 16 Days of Activism, we handed over a memorandum to this effect to the Department of Justice.
Currently in South Africa survivors of sexual assault and rape often feel that the criminal justice system does not support them. This is why we are fighting for specialised sexual offences courts specialised sexual offences courts that only deal with sexual offences cases and provide special services to survivors. Therefore it is very important to understand exactly what is expected and required in order to prove that a rapist is guilty in the eyes of the law.
From the law and the court’s perspective there are certain things that are essential in making a solid case and having the case result in a conviction. To help you we have put together a list of the key steps you must take in order to provide the prosecutor and the courts with the strongest case possible against your assailant.
What evidence is needed to build a strong rape case: What can survivors do?
- Physical evidence
If you have been raped or assaulted do not remove your clothes or wash. Go straight to the nearest police station and request medical attention. There will be physical evidence on your body and clothes that will link the rapist to the crime and it is important that this evidence is collected as soon as possible after the rape. Physical or DNA evidence fades within 72 hours (three days) after the event so the sooner you have this evidence collected and submitted to the police the better.
If you know of a nearby hospital that is a designated as a forensic unit for assessing rape cases you may go straight there but it is important to note that not all hospitals or health facilities deal with rape cases.