Sexual Offenses and Community Affairs

Defending women and children
  • Purpose

    The main focus Sexual Offenses and Community Affairs (SOCA) unit is the prosecution of cases involving the victimization of women and children. Other areas of responsibility include sexual offences, human trafficking, domestic violence, the management of young offenders and the enforcement of child maintenance orders.

    The unit plays a key role in the management of cases of Children in Conflict with the Law. The units’ responsibilities include four focus areas:

    • Age: Criminal capacity makes the prosecution of young offenders challenging. In South Africa, legal capacity begins at 10, the focus of the unit is the prosecution of children between the ages of 10 and 18. The unit focusses on rehabilitation through rehabilitation instead of incarceration.
    • Diversion: The unit promotes diversion programmes over incarceration for children whose offences do not warrant prosecution. Accountability for all brought before the law is key to the working of the SOCA unit. Minors whose crimes warrant it, are rehabilitated, and returned to their community.
    • Children Awaiting Trial: For SOCA is legally obligated to use prison as a last resort instead preferring to utilize alternative to pretrial custody including parental or welfare custody. SOCA has developed a National Protocol on the Management of Children Awaiting Trial in the absence of legislation dealing specifically with young offenders. The Protocol establishes prosecutor led Case Review teams to ensure children are released from prison.
    • Continuous development of skills for SOCA personnel:  Prosecutors, probation officers, social workers and police officers receive multi-disciplinary training on how to deal with young offenders.
  • Background

    Established in October 1999, SOCA’s main objective was to eradicate all forms of gender based violence especially against women and children.

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    SOCA's role is to formulate and manage action plans with the objective of:

    • In conjunction with partners, enable the prevention of crimes against women and children.
    • Prioritise gender equality in the justice system.
    • Create safe spaces for victims.
    • The creation of an integrated case management system that increases the conviction rates of perpetrators of gender-based violence.
    • Develop effective monitoring and evaluation systems that help, support, and empower victims and rehabilitate perpetrators.
    • Improve treatment and care services to gender-based violence survivors.
  • Contact Details
The team

Adv. Bonnie Currie-Gamwo
Special Director of Public Prosecutions and Head of the Unit

Adv. Pierre Smith
Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions - Head Office

Adv. Maggie Tserere
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions – Eastern Cape

Adv. Omashani Naidoo
Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions – KwaZulu-Natal

Ms. Liezel Africa
Acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions – Western Cape

Ms. Sandra Reddy
Acting Director of Administration

Ms. Genevieve Devereux
National Program Manager for the TCCs

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