ANALYSIS: When is a rapist not a rapist? SA’s law needs to decide

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ANALYSIS: When is a rapist not a rapist? SA’s law needs to decide

Concourt has to decide whether accomplices to rape should get the same punishment as rapists

Journalist

A woman is attacked in her home by a gang of men. One man decides to commit one of the worst crimes imaginable. As the woman is raped, some of the men hold her down, another sits in the corner doing nothing, while another lies down on a nearby bed and laughs. Should all of these men be charged with rape? Being an accomplice to rape? Nothing at all?

This is the series of difficult legal questions that were asked of the Constitutional Court on Thursday, as the law around common purpose and its relation to rape was ventilated by legal NGOs, gender activists and government.

SA’s highest court heard arguments from top legal minds in a case that could drastically change the way in which rapists are convicted.  ..

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