NPA Appeal Against Rape Acquittal Upheld By The SCA

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) delivered its judgment on 24 April 2024, upholding the appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Eastern Cape which dealt with section 3 (offence of rape) of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 32 of 2007 (the Act). The respondent was convicted in the Regional Court on a charge of Section 3 (rape) of the Act (which incident happened at the Rhodes University) but successfully appealed the matter to the Eastern Cape Division of the High Court, where his conviction and sentence of seven years was set aside.    

The NPA Head Office (SOCA Unit), after studying both the judgments of the Regional Court and that of the ECD in the appeal matter, recommended that the NPA appeal the matter to the SCA, to seek clarity on the interpretation of “consent” and specifically the nature of consent as defined in the Act. Therefore, the NPA welcomes the SCA judgment, which unanimously upheld the appeal from the NPA. The conviction on Section 3 of the Act (rape) was confirmed by the SCA and reinstated accordingly. The SCA judgment dealt in detail with the scourge of Gender-Based Violence in the country referencing numerous SCA judgments on the matter, but most importantly it decisively dealt with the interpretation and application of consent by law which will guide the prosecution and courts in the analysis of evidence.       

The SCA has requested the DPP, Eastern Cape Barry Madolo, to prioritise the placement of the appeal against the sentence on the roll as soon as all relevant requirements have been met. The DPP will approach the Registrar and all parties involved to ensure that this is realised.

The NPA remains committed to prioritising the fight against Gender-Based Violence.

Kind regards,

Adv Mthunzi Mhaga

NPA Spokesperson


Closing Date
Connect with Us