Streaming issues? Report here
Africa Melane 2019 1500 BW Africa Melane 2019 1500 BW
Early Breakfast with Africa Melane
04:00 - 06:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
See full line-up
Early Breakfast with Africa Melane
04:00 - 06:00
Home
arrow_forward
Local

High Court overturns 'unfair' ruling impacting survivors of historic sex abuse

20 October 2021 4:53 PM
Tags:
sex abuse
Professor Claudine Storbeck
historic sex abuse

John Maytham is joined by survivor Claudine Shiels who provides an update on the historic sex abuse case she opened in 2017.
  • Claudine Shiels and her sister brought their case 45 years after the reported abuse happened in the seventies.

- (This article and audio contain sensitive content that may be triggering to some readers)


© andreyuu/123rf.com

RELATED: 46 years since I was sexually abused and I'm expected to remember specific dates

There's been a significant development in the case of two women seeking justice for sexual abuse they say they suffered at the hands of two family friends over 45 years ago.

Claudine Shiels and her sister brought their case several decades after the reported abuse happened in the seventies.

In December 2019, the defence argued that the charge sheet should not be read in conjunction with sections from the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007.

They said this Act should not be applied retrospectively.

Claudine Shiels, Abuse survivor

The magistrate at Wynberg Court upheld the defence's argument, however, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) send the ruling to the High Court.

It would have had serious implications for our case. We may as well have packed up and gone home.

Claudine Shiels

These sections in the Amendment Act afford protection to victims in historic cases from negative inferences relating to the length of time that it's taken to report.

Claudine Shiels, Abuse survivor

This week the High Court has overturned the magistrate's ruling.

This means that historic cases can be tried with laws that are fairer.

Claudine Shiels, Abuse survivor

Shiels says the ruling means victims of historic sexual abuse will not be able to be penalized for not reporting earlier.

Sometimes it takes decades to find the courage to speak out.

Claudine Shiels, Abuse survivor

RELATED: 'Abuse silences you' - Sharing the story of SA's oldest sexual abuse case

Last year Claudine shared her story with a live studio audience on Lunch with Pippa Hudson, after publishing a memoir Walking Through Front Doors - Seeking Justice for a Stolen Childhood.

RELATED: Judge 'forced' into controversial ruling due to outdated rape laws - lawyer

RELATED:Spotlight on Rape: A new doccie tells the story of Alison Botha's vicious rape




20 October 2021 4:53 PM
Tags:
sex abuse
Professor Claudine Storbeck
historic sex abuse

More from Local