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September 07, 2004

What our law says about rape

The Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1997 prescribes compulsory sentence for rape. If a woman has been raped more than once, or by more than one person acting in conjunction with another, or by a person who knows that he is HIV-positive, or the victim is seriously injured, is under 16, physically disabled or mentally ill, the perpetrator must be sentenced to life imprisonment. So says a column in The Herald which examines how the law in SA interprets r ape. Although Roman-Dutch law required that to constitute r ape, the woman’s resistance had to be overcome by force, in SA law it suffices if the woman’s resistance is overcome by either force, fear or fraud. An example of ‘fear’ is the perpetrator brandishing a firearm or knife. An example of resistance overcome by fraud is the case, often quoted to students, in which a music teacher was convicted of r ape after convincing his pupil that s exual intercourse would improve her voice.

Provided courtesy of Legalbrief Today. To participate in a free month’s subscription to Legalbrief’s daily legal news service click here.



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