S Africa seeks law change to curb violence against women

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South Africa’s government has introduced three Bills in Parliament to curb gender-based violence.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has termed them as the “most far-reaching legislative overhaul in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide”.

The proposed changes seek to among other things create a new offence of sexual intimidation, allow for names of sex offenders to be publicly available and tighten the granting of bail to perpetrators of violence against women.

They also impose new obligations on police officers, prosecutors and courts in handling cases.

Domestic Violence Act will be changed to cover couples in “engagements, dating, in customary relationships, and actual or perceived romantic, intimate or sexual relationships of any duration”.

The amendments are a follow up on the president’s promise last year to change laws on domestic abuse.