1887

oa Codicillus - Testimonies of child-rape victims in South African courts

 

Abstract

Ukudlwengulwa kuyisehlakalo esilimazayo ngokomzimba, imizwa nangokwengqondo kumuntu ohlukunyeziwe osemncane. Kepha ngaphandle kobufakazi bezokwelashwa, ukutholwa enecala komenzi wesehlakalo leso kwencike ikakhulukazi ebufakazini obunembayo bengane leyo ehlukunyeziwe obethulwa enkantolo. Umbhali ubheka isisekelo esilimazanayo esigxile kusisekelo esingumlando somthetho othi izinkantolo kumele ziqaphele lapho zibheka ubufakazi bezinhlobo ezithile zofakazi, abuye acubungule ukuthi ngabe izinkantolo zaseNingizimu Afrika ziyaphinda yini zihlukumeze lowo osehlukumezekile ngokudlwengulwa kwakhe eyingane, ngokusebenzisa kwazo umthetho lowo ebufakazini bakhe. Umbhali ugcizelela ukubaluleka kwababambi beqhaza abafanele ohlelweni olubhekele ezobulungiswa nezobelelesi ngalokho bavikele ngempumelelo ohlukumezeke ngokudlwengulwa eyingane, kanye nokuvimbela ukulimala okunye kohlukumezekile. Lapho kungekho ukuvikeleka okunjalo umuntu ohlukumezeke ngokudlwengulwa eyingane angesebenzi kahle enkantolo ngenxa yokungalwethembi uhlelo lwezobulungiswa nezobulelesi. Umbhali ucubungula ukusebenza ngempumelelo kwe-ss 170A no-158 zeCriminal Procedure Act 51 ka-1977, ukuqophisana okukhona phakathi kwalezi zigaba ezimbili nokwehluleka kwazo ukunikeza ithuba lokukhetha elifanayo kwabahlukunyezwe ukudlwengulwa beyizingane, lokuba banikeze ubufakazi endaweni engenakwesatshiswa nokunye ukulimala.

Rape is a physically, emotionally and psychologically traumatic experience for a young victim. But for medical evidence, the conviction of the perpetrator depends largely on the accurate testimony of the child victim in court. The author considers the prejudicial historical basis of the cautionary rule and examines whether the South African courts revictimise the victim of child rape by stringently applying the cautionary rule to his or her testimony. The author emphasises the importance of the relevant role players in the criminal-justice system effectively protecting the victim of child rape, and of preventing further trauma to the victim. In the absence of such protection the victim of child rape may perform poorly in court because of a lack of faith in the criminal-justice system. The author analyses the effectiveness of ss 170A and 158 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, the contradictions that exist between these two sections and their failure to provide a uniform option to victims of child rape to testify in an environment free of intimidation and further trauma.

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/content/codi/47/2/EJC27513
2006-01-01
2016-12-03
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