Home South African Ramaphosa signs new bills to fight GBV and corruption

Ramaphosa signs new bills to fight GBV and corruption

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The two legislations signed are the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill and the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law two bills aimed at fighting gender-based violence and investigating state capture corruption. Picture: Armand Hough/Independent Newspapers

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has signed into law two bills aimed at fighting gender-based violence and investigating state capture corruption.

Ramaphosa signed the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill and the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill in a public ceremony held at the Union Buildings last week.

Speaking at the event, he said the two bills gave effect to two undertakings made by his administration when it took office to capacitate and strengthen law enforcement agencies and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the fight against corruption as well as working with civil society, communities and other sectors to end GBVF.

However, Ramaphosa hoped there would be no same flurry of opposition experienced when the National Health Insurance Bill was enacted.

“We have previously held public signing ceremonies for important legislation like the National Minimum Wage Act and the constitutional amendment to make South African Sign Language our twelfth official language.

“The public signing of transformative legislation promotes transparency and accountability.

“It helps to ensure that citizens are aware of the laws that affect them, that they understand what these laws entail, and that citizens of our country are better empowered to exercise their rights under these laws,” he said.

Ramaphosa said corruption and GBV were two scourges that plague the country and corrode the social fabric.

“As we mark 30 years of democracy, we know that our aspiration to be a truly free and equal society cannot be achieved for as long as criminals steal the resources meant for the benefit of the people, and for as long as this country’s women and children do not feel safe and free to walk our streets.”

According to Ramaphosa, the two legislations formed part of the government’s efforts to strengthen institutions, develop partnerships and build state capacity.

The GBVF Bill establishes a multi-sectoral National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.

This is intended to co-ordinate and provide strategic leadership in the fight against GBVF.

“We need a national effort that is more inclusive, more focused and better resourced.

“We are confident that this council will provide much of what we need and will further strengthen the national effort to eradicate violence against women and children,” he said.

Ramaphosa said the signing into law of the NPA Amendment Bill will establish an Investigating Directorate

Against Corruption (IDAC) as a permanent entity within the NPA.

“The Investigating Directorate Against Corruption will be a permanent, prosecution-led agency with full criminal investigative powers.”

He said the amendment act would help to overcome challenges with capacity and expertise within the NPA to investigate and prosecute complex corruption cases.

“The Investigating Directorate against Corruption will be able to reap the benefits of collaboration with the private sector and other social partners.

“By way of example, efforts are under way as part of the partnership between government and business to create a Digital Evidence Unit specialising in the identification, collection, analysis and presentation of digital evidence.”

Ramaphosa said the signing of the bills was taking another important step in the quest to promote accountability.

Cape Times

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