Criminal justice needs to be redefined to fight gender-based violence

June 26th, 2020

By Kgomotso Ramotsho

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, was invited to speak at the first virtual, fifth annual Tsietsi Mashinini Memorial Lecture that was held on 18 June. In his address, Mr Lamola spoke about how Mashinini and the youth at the time fought for, among other things, a democratic South Africa (SA). He also addressed the issue of criminal justice in SA and gender-based violence currently affecting SA. Mr Lamola said criminal justice, at its core, needs to be about the people of the community. He added that young people in SA should be the guidance of safety for the communities and not be the perpetrators of crime. He pointed out that the rehabilitation and re-education, which the freedom charter speaks of, needs to be reserved for those that have failed to be decolonised through the education system.

Mr Lamola added that there must be a reorientation of the criminal justice system. Women must have faith in the system, victims must see themselves at the centre, and justice must be tangible. He pointed out that the current administration will be redefining a lot of the criminal justice system and that the first wave of the reform has begun through the prosecution of sexual offences, which limits secondary victimisation. He noted that this, along with strengthening the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, the recalibration of the sexual offences list and addressing bail provisions for sexual offences, will begin to help many of the victims in society.

Kgomotso Ramotsho Cert Journ (Boston) Cert Photography (Vega) is the news reporter at De Rebus.

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