Justice Department Director-General launches Sexual Offences Court in Durban
25 November 2015
The Director General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Ms Nonkululeko Sindane, officially launched a Sexual Offences Court at the Durban Magistrate’s Court today, 25 November 2015.
The launch is in line with the department’s efforts to promote a justice system that is victim-friendly, efficient and sensitive to the needs of victims. Speaking at the launch, Director General Sindane said that “the official launch of this court is testimony of the department’s commitment to deal with violence against vulnerable groups of the society”.
Sexual Offences Courts provide specialised victim-support services that are intended to improve the effectiveness of witnesses in court and reduce turnaround time in the finalisation of sexual offences matters. The Director General indicated that the court is one of the 57 that have been upgraded to provide sufficient support to victims of sexual crimes. “Since August 2013, the department has upgraded a total of 41 Sexual Offences Court countrywide,” she added.
Furthermore she said although we still have more courts to upgrade so that they meet the set standard for proper victims support, the 41 established courts are already making a significant impact. “The rebirth of these specialized courts undeniably contributed to the increase of the conviction rate in sexual offences from 59, 6% in 2013/2014 to 64% in 2014/2015,” said Director General.
Director General concluded her address by saying that the opening of this court is part of the of the commemoration by the department of the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children Abuse campaign. “It is imperative that all of us are counted-in in moving a non-violent South Africa forward. Let’s make a difference and help curb the scourge of abuse and sexual violence.
Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Enquiries: Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional services
083 641 8141 / Mediaenquiries@justice.gov.za