Thumbs up to early sex - New Bill

Thumbs up to early sex - New Bill
Published: 29 July 2015 (594 Views)
Children under the age of 16  who engage in sexual activities would not be prosecuted under the proposed new General Laws Amendment Bill.

This according to Chronicle came up in Gweru on Tuesday during a Parliamentary Affairs Portfolio Committee on the General Laws Amendment Bill and the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Amendment Bill public hearing.

Recently, Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana's sparked controversy over the country's prescribed age of sexual consent when he was quoted as saying 12-year-olds could consent to sex.

However, residents said it was uncultural, inhuman and unAfrican to allow children under the age of 16 to engage in sexual activities without getting punished.

The chairperson of the committee, Jessie Majome, said: "We're here to get your views. The General Laws Amendment Bill will not prosecute boys under 16 who engage in sexual intercourse with girls under that age."

She said Section 70 of the Code (sexual intercourse or performing indecent acts with young persons) prevents the sexual exploitation of young persons.

"It however recognises sexual intercourse between young persons under the age of 16. It's implicit from the wording of this section that only adults may be prosecuted for this crime, because the subject of the crime is a 'person' and its object is a "young person" (defined in section 61 of the Code as a person below the age of 16).

"However, it's in society's interests to protect all young persons from being 'sexualised' prematurely, regardless of whether the perpetrator is, for instance, a boy of 15 who has 'consensual' sexual intercourse with a girl of 13," Majome said.

"Where two young persons aged between 12 and 16 engage in sexual intercourse or an indecent act, it's proposed that neither of them should be prosecuted for the crime of sexual intercourse or performing an indecent act with a young person, unless the report of a probation officer finds that it's proper to prosecute one of them for the offence."

In this regard, residents said the Bill should not be passed if the above section was not amended.

- Chronicle

Tags: sex, law,
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