Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007

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32 of 2007

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 aims:

  • to comprehensively and extensively review and amend all aspects of the laws and the implementation of the laws relating to sexual offences, and to deal with all legal aspects of or relating to sexual offences in a single statute, by-
    • repealing the common law offence of rape and replacing it with a new expanded statutory offence of rape, applicable to all forms of sexual penetration without consent, irrespective of gender;
    • repealing the common law offence of indecent assault and replacing it with a new statutory offence of sexual assault, applicable to all forms of sexual violation without consent;
    • creating new statutory offences relating to certain compelled acts of penetration or violation;
    • creating new statutory offences, for adults, by criminalising the compelling or causing the witnessing of certain sexual conduct and certain parts of the human anatomy, the exposure or display of child pornography and the engaging of sexual services of an adult;
    • repealing the common law offences of incest, bestiality and violation of a corpse, as far as such violation is of a sexual nature, and enacting corresponding new statutory offences;
    • enacting comprehensive provisions dealing with the creation of certain new, expanded or amended sexual offences against children and persons who are mentally disabled, including offences relating to sexual exploitation or grooming, exposure to or display of pornography and the creation of child pornography, despite some of the offences being similar to offences created in respect of adults as the creation of these offences aims to address the particular vulnerability of children and persons who are mentally disabled in respect of sexual abuse or exploitation;
    • eliminating the differentiation drawn between the age of consent for different consensual sexual acts and providing for special provisions relating to the prosecution and adjudication of consensual sexual acts between children older than 12 years but younger than 16 years;
    • criminalising any attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit a sexual offence;
    • creating a duty to report sexual offences committed with or against children or persons who are mentally disabled;
    • providing the South African Police Service with new investigative tools when investigating sexual offences or other offences involved the HIV status of the perpetrator;
    • providing our courts with extra-territorial jurisdiction when hearing matters relating to sexual offences;
    • providing certain services to certain victims of sexual offences, inter alia, to minimise or, as far as possible, eliminate secondary traumatisation, including affording a victim of certain sexual offences the right to require that the alleged perpetrator be tested for his or her HIV status and the right to receive Post Exposure Prophylaxis in certain circumstances;
    • establishing and regulating a National Register for Sex Offenders;
    • further regulating procedures, defences and other evidentiary matters in the prosecution and adjudication of sexual offences;
    • making provision for the adoption of a national policy framework regulating all matters in this Act, including the manner in which sexual offences and related matters must be dealt with uniformly, in a co-ordinated and sensitive manner, by all Government departments and institutions and the issuing of national instructions and directives to be followed by the law enforcement agencies, the national prosecuting authority and health care practitioners to guide the implementation, enforcement and administration of this Act in order to achieve the objects of the Act;
    • making interim provision relating to the trafficking in persons for sexual purposes; and
  • to provide for matters connected therewith.



14 December 2007, unless otherwise indicated


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