Court declares existing time limit on sexual abuse cases invalid

The High Court in Johannesburg has ruled that section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act is unlawful and invalid reports EWN's Mandy Wiener.

Section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act stated that a case cannot be brought against a person accused of sexual abuse if the alleged incident happened over twenty years ago.

This application was brought forward by a group that claims they were abused by Sydney Frankel, a Joburg stockbroker in the 1980’s.

Frankel died before the case against him was heard.

This means that people who waited for decades before coming forward and speak out against their abusers, there is no longer that 20 years bar, which means that people can wait 20-35 years before they lay criminal charges against their abusers.

Mandy Wiener, EWN reporter

Wiener says the judge presiding on this case has made a wider declaration in terms of children and adults.

The Constitutional Court will now have to confirm the acting Judge Clare Hartford's ruling. She also said this matter must go to Parliament for a period of 18 months to give it an opportunity to amend the law.

To hear more of this report by Mandy Wiener, listen below:

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