We are deeply disturbed to hear that the National Director of Public Prosecution, Adv Menzi Simelane, has given authorisation for the prosecution of teenagers in Limpopo for offences committed in terms of the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act 32 of 2007.
We point out that the media is again singling out the girl children, who in this case, are pregnant. The NPA has further refused to provide any information on whether the children are legally represented. If the children are not legally represented, then the matter is even more concerning and we urge the NPA to advise the children of their right to legal representation.
Adv Simelane is fully aware that there is a constitutional challenge instituted by Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and Rapcan pending against sections 15 and 16 of the Act. In their court papers the NPA and the Department of Justice and Constitutional stated that they would almost never prosecute these offences. The conduct of the NPA in charging these children directly contradicts the assertions made by the NPA and Justice in their sworn affidavits before court.
We earlier wrote to Adv Simelane demanding that the NPA immediately withdraw authorisation for the prosecution of the children pending the outcome of the constitutional challenge. We are awaiting his answer in this regard.
Carina du Toit
CENTRE FOR CHILD LAW
012 420 4502
TEDDY BEAR CLINIC
Related articles on our site: Teenage Pregnancy: Challenging an Unjust Law