The right and the real

Date: May 20, 2013
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A Shadow Report Analysing Selected Government Departments’ Implementation of the 1998 Domestic Violence Act and 2007Sexual Offences Act. South Africa’s Constitutional Court makes it clear that, “few things can be more important to women than freedom from the threat of sexual violence.À So important is this right to be free from all forms of violence that, along with the rights to life and dignity, it imposes two sorts of duties on the state: the first obliging the state to refrain from acting in ways that infringe on these rights, and the second compelling it to develop legislation and structures guaranteeing those rights. This report examines government’s compliance with these constitutionally mandated duties, taking as its point of departure two pieces of legislation key to combating violence against women À“ the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 (DVA) and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 (SOA). As the chief custodians of the DVA and SOA, two departments come under particular scrutiny: the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD). The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), as a sub-programme within the DoJ&CD, is also analysed. A third component of the report takes a combined look at the Departments of Health (DoH), Social Development (DSD) and Correctional Services (DCS), which play ancillary roles in the implementation of these two laws.

Publisher: Heinrich Boll Stiftung & Tshwaranang
Year of Publication: 2010

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