The Sexual Offences Act deals with all those aspects of the Law relating to sexual offences.
The Act is extensive in coverage and includes mandatory reporting provisions for certain sexual offences and child abuse, the criminalizing of child pornography including the exposure of children to child pornography and other sexual acts, the criminalizing of human trafficking for sexual purposes, and the establishment of sex offenders register to name but a few of the categories dealt with under this Act.
THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTER
Every employer is required to apply for a clearance certificate in the prescribed format in respect of any staff member or volunteer of the business or organization or church who during the course of their work will be required to supervise or care for children alternatively will come in contact with children.
The failure of the employer to obtain the necessary clearance in respect of its employees or volunteers is a punishable offence in terms of the Sexual Offences Act punished by either 7 years imprisonment or a fine or to both a fine and imprisonment.
The Act defines an employer as any person, organization, institution, club, sports club, association or body who or which, employs employees who, will be placed in a position when they gain access to a child or a person who is mentally disabled or be at places where children or persons who are mentally disabled are present.
The Act defines an employee as anyone who carries out any duty for an employer whether or not that employee receives remuneration or not (eg. volunteers).
Every employer who meets the above definition must apply to the Registrar in the prescribed manner for the prescribed certificate indicating whether or not any of the employee’s names are recorded in the sex offenders register. An employee whose name is on the sex offenders register may not work with children and would accordingly either have to be moved to an alternate position of work or have their work contract immediately terminated. In terms of Section 45 of the Sexual Offences Act an employee who fails to disclose that they have previously been convicted of a sexual offence and have had their name recorded on the Sexual Offenders Register must have their work contract immediately terminated.