President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the passing of three pieces of legislation aimed at strengthening the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).
In his letter to the nation, Ramaphosa has outlined the details of the Criminal and Related Amendment Act, which focuses on preventing the secondary victimisation of the vulnerable in the courts.
An amendment to the sexual offences Criminal Law, deals with the thorny issue of protection orders. It is aimed at better managing the National Register of Sex Offenders and the Domestic Violence Amendment Act.
Amongst the effects of the three amendments is to allow for courts to appoint intermediaries through which vulnerable persons can be examined.
Suspects charged with the rape and murder of women and children must be denied bail except in exceptional circumstances which must be recorded by the state prosecutor.
The legislation also provides for a court to issue of a suspended arrest order to the police against a domestic violence accused at the same time that it issues a protection order.
Below is the full letter from the president:
Last year, Ramaphosa said processes were put in place to ensure the GBV and Femicide Response Fund will be managed in an ethical and transparent manner.
He was addressing the launch of the private sector-led fund at the time which is aimed at supporting the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) and the wider GBV response in the country.
Ramaphosa said the launch of the fund fulfilled the promise made to women and children during a summit held on the issue in 2018, to end the scourge of violence and killing of women and girls in our country.
VIDEO: President Cyril Ramaphosa launches GBVF Response Fund: