If he were still alive, stockbroker Sidney Frankel - accused of being a paedophile - might have been picking a matching pair of socks to take to the slammer. This after a landmark Constitutional Court judgement removed the 20-year prescription for sexual offence cases on Thursday morning (14 June 2018).
As Noseweek revealed in October 2014 (nose180), Frankel was accused of using his status as a philanthropist, businessman and pillar of the community as a devious cover to sexually assault multiple children entrusted to his care.
In 2014, eight victims approached Sandton-based Ian Levitt Attorneys for advice on whether they could prosecute Frankel, only to learn that the prescription had lapsed. Because of this, they brought their story to Noseweek, citing it as the only publication with the courage to expose their influential molester.
Thereafter they launched a high court case to have the law changed. When Noseweek published the article, Frankel was fighting bladder and prostate cancer. He died three years later in April 2017.
In a unanimous judgement penned by Justice Zondi AJ, in which Justices Cameron J, Froneman J, Jafta J, Kathree-Setiloane AJ, Kollapen AJ, Madlanga J, Mhlantla J, and Theron J concurred, the country’s highest court struck down section 18 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (CPA).
It found it to be “inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid to the extent that it bars, in all circumstances, the right to institute a criminal prosecution for all sexual offences, other than rape or compelled rape, trafficking persons for sexual purposes and using a child or person who is mentally disabled for pornographic purposes, after the lapse of a period of 20 years from the time when the offence was committed”.
The applicants were represented by A Katz SC instructed by Ian Levitt Attorney. Representing the Estate of Frankel was Adv. S Kazee instructed by Billy Gundelfinger Attorneys.
Click here to download the judgement.
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