Civil Society Pushes Improved Implementation of the Sexual Offences Act

By Emily Kheen

Kuyasa branch members protest outside the magistrate's court in Khayelitsha.

The Sonke Gender Justice Network has always believed strongly in the importance of civil society advocacy initiatives, and after extensive internal discussions we have decided to focus our advocacy efforts on supporting the Shukumisa Campaign to improve implementation of the Sexual Offences Act.

This decision was based on our awareness of the difficulties of obtaining justice for sexual offences in South Africa, despite the progressive legislation.  

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JAW Works To Increase Women’s Access To Justice


Justice And Women, a Shukumisa partner, says its Access to Justice Team has been working to increase knowledge of and support for women’s rights and access to justice.

Here are some of the things that they have done:

  • Legal literacy training
  • Paralegal case work
  • Building strategic relationships – policy submissions
  • Community mobilization with community groups in 3 areas in Kwa Zulu Natal Sweetwaters (a traditional area outside Pietermaritzburg) Melmoth (a rural area in Zululand) and Creighton (a rural community near the Southern Drakensberg).  
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Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre Comments on the 2011/12 Budget

until we see what the increases of the departments of Police and Justice and Constitutional Development are going to be spent on, the plaudits, bouquets and champagne corks remain on hold, writes Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre director Lisa Vetten.

Read the full post on NGO Pulse. 

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Moving and Shaking in Central Kwa-Zulu Natal

Bongi wearing campaign sash

The Shukumisa Campaign is moving and shaking things up in central KZN thanks to the energy and commitment of 6 NGOs from Pietermaritzburg.

Justice and Women, LifeLine/Rape Crisis, Centre for Criminal Justice, FAMSA, Pmb Gay & Lesbian Network, CREATE (a disability rights NGO) and community radio activist Nana Makhanya, launched the Shukumisa Campaign during the 16 Days of Activism.

They will work together to monitor Regional and Sexual Offences Courts and Police Stations, in terms of the provisions of the VEP Charter and Batho Pele.

The areas they will cover include Pietermaritzburg and some rural centres , Melmoth, Eshowe, Ladismith, NewCastle, Mooi River, Estcourt, Bergivlle, Ixopo, Highflats, Bulwer, Impendle, Mphopomeni and Howick.

The participating NGOs feel strongly that the campaign should be conducted in a respectful and professional manner, and so have been at pains to liaise with the Department of Justice and the SAPS prior to the monitoring visits which are scheduled to take place in January and February 2011.


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Children should not have to wait a lifetime to call Childline SA

ChildLine is a Shukumisa partner.

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  • The Shukumisa Campaign

    About Us

    Welcome to the Shukumisa website, an online resource for

    • rape survivors and their families
    • concerned citizens
    • community activists

    The word Shukumisa means to shake or stir things up

    The Shukumisa Campaign was created in 2008 and aims to stir and shake up public and political will to develop and implement policies related to sexual offences

    Imagine a South Africa where:

    • Everyone treats rape as a serious crime
    • Quality Health, Policing and Legal services are available to all rape survivors, everywhere
    • All women are free to move around as they please, dressed as they please
    • Rape victims aren’t stereotyped in our media
    • We are all included in the development of laws that affect our lives and our communities.

    You can join us by:

    • Adding your voice to our Facebook discussions
    • Supporting our activities, or suggesting them
    • Writing to the media and Government to complain when the law fails rape survivors
    • Getting involved with organisations linked to the Shukumisa Campaign