New bail law to give rape victims a voice

Close Up Of Man Hands Holding A Woman Hands For Rape And Sexual Abuse, Anti-trafficking And Stopping
Close Up Of Man Hands Holding A Woman Hands For Rape And Sexual Abuse, Anti-trafficking And Stopping

New bail Bill, which is currently under debate in Parliament, is expected to give victims or complainants of rape and sexual offences a voice when perpetrators appear for bail pleas.

The Bail Bill of 2023 presented by Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni which is in its second reading before Parliament, will provide for the rights of complainants in cases of rape and other offences an opportunity to have a say during bail hearings. "It gives such complainants the right to have a say in the bail proceedings by allowing them the opportunity to give to the prosecutor any information that may be useful in determining whether to grant or refuse bail or in determining the conditions of recognisances," explains the reading of the Bill. According to the Bill, there has been a gap in the current law where criminal acts are regarded as crimes against the state, therefore, the prosecution of criminal acts does not take into consideration the rights of the complainants, victims or witnesses of criminal acts. "This part, therefore, seeks to bridge this gap and give a voice to victims of crime," reads the Bill in part.

Another important aspect of the Bill is that it will provide for the constitutional principles upon which bail is premised and the circumstances under which bail may be granted or refused and provides further for what is expected from the accused person whilst on bail, which is, amongst others, to attend court as and when required. It explains that the above part also makes it mandatory for the judicial officer not to release the accused person if one of the stated grounds is established, for example, if the accused was likely, in the eyes of the court, to commit any of the offences of murder, stock theft, motor vehicle theft, rape or defilement amongst others. The Bill, in general, is expected to address challenges surrounding bail, especially public outcry that accused persons are granted bail with ease and escalating cases of repeated offenders while on bail. The Bail Bill's main objective is to provide for circumstances under which a suspect or an accused person may be granted or refused bail.

Editor's Comment
Mind your health

They've repeatedly warned that hypertension, or high blood pressure, often termed a chronic lifestyle disease, is a silent killer. It's crucial for everyone to be aware of their health status. Nowadays, many companies host wellness days, offering free disease screenings to employees!Unfortunately, even with such services, some choose not to take advantage of the opportunity.The Dutch Reformed Church in Botswana recently organised a...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up