After South Africa experienced a high spike in the reported cases of rape in 2013, then the Minister of Justice Jeff Radebe took the decision to reintroduce 22 sexual offenses courts in South Africa. Fast forward to 2020, as the country continues to grapple with gender-based violence and femicide, the judiciary has the muscle of 96 courts at its disposal that have been well resourced to deal exclusively with cases of sexual offenses.
South Africa’s Sexual Offences Courts, either operates as a pure sexual offenses court or a Hybrid court – which would be found in a regional court dedicated to the adjudication of sexual offenses cases in any specified area. It is a court that is established to give priority to sexual offenses cases, whilst permitted to deal with other cases.
Speaking at the opening of one such court in 2019, the Department of Justice spokesperson Chrispin Phiri highlighted the importance of the courts, emphasizing that there was a 74 % conviction rate with the courts.
The map below highlights that locations of the various sexual offences courts in South Africa.