Submissions with respect to the Criminal Law Sexual Offences & Related Matters Act Amendment Bill [B 16-2020]

The South African Constitution has been regarded as one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. The esteemed Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her tenure as a US Supreme Court Justice is on record for having said, “That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary … It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recent than the US Constitution.” Naturally, law and policy related to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in South Africa would be as progressive. Despite of the progressive law and policy, SGBV in South Africa is still on the rise. A look at the South African (SAPS) crime statistics over a three-year period shows the number of sexual offences reported for the 2016/2017 year as 49,6600; the 2017/2018 year as 50,108; the 2018/2019 as 52,420 a gradual increase of 4.6%. The question therefore remains, how to translate the progressive law as it into a reality for the benefit of the citizens.