The Wynberg sexual offences court has more than 300 rape and sexual assault cases that are ready for trial. This year alone, 557 cases were placed on the court roll.
The court is equipped with two prosecutors each. Each court has a separate room where children can testify in camera. Adults can also testify behind closed doors if the court grants an application.
Speaking to Joanne on the Afternoon Drive, Kamogelo Lekubu - Director of Victim Support and Specialised Services at the Department of Justice said the sexual offences court are now fully effective programs of the Department of Justice.
She emphasised that when a case comes to court, the victims are prevented from experiencing secondary victimisation. They also try to fast-track the cases so that they have a shorter cycle of the turn-around time within the court.
The sexual offences court is dependent of a model that requires us to have two prosecutors, a social worker, court preparations officers and a magistrate that is designated in that court so that the court rule does not collapse because of lack of human resources. We have a system that ensures that a particular legal officer is designated to a particular case that is on the roll.— Kamogelo Lekubu - Director of Victim Support and Specialised Services at the Department of Justice
Lekubu pointed out the difference between the criminal courts and the sexual offence court. She described the criminal courts as the scariest places to be in, even in for cases that involve private matters like sex. She also pointed out the important task of their officers that is to prepare the victims, and to understand the process of the court.
Click below to listen to the full interview:
This article first appeared on 702 : Cape Town opens SA's first sexual offences court