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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

‘Corruption and GBV plague our country’: Ramaphosa signs GBV and anti-corruption bills into law (VIDEOS)

New laws signed by Ramaphosa aim to address GBV, femicide, and corruption in South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill and the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill into law.

“The signing of these two acts signals our determination to continue to build an ethical, capable state with strong institutions that can deliver on their mandate of improving the lives of every South African,” he said at the Union Buildings on Friday morning.

The president said the first bill is to work with civil society, communities, and other sectors to end gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide, and the second bill is to capacitate and strengthen law enforcement agencies and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the fight against corruption.

This comes one week after Ramaphosa signed the National Health Insurance Bill into law, despite criticism from the healthcare sector about the bill.

“Corruption and gender-based violence are two scourges that plague our country and corrode our social fabric,” he said during the signing.

GBV and Femicide Bill

The president said the GBV and Femicide Bill facilitates the establishment of a National Council on GBV and Femicide to coordinate and provide strategic leadership to the fight against GBV and femicide.

ALSO READ: Doubt looms over GBV legislation efficacy

“Our greatest task is to prevent gender-based violence from being perpetrated in the first place. We want to end, once and for all, the violence that men perpetrate against women,” Ramaphosa said.

He added that this is why everyone in society needs to be involved.

Watch the president sign the GBV and Femicide Bill into law:

Ramaphosa thanked civil society organisations, whose tireless advocacy for this Council to be established has come to fruition.

“I believe we will continue to count on your support, as well as the support of labour and business, in this all-of-society effort to combat the pandemic of gender-based violence,” he said.

National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill

The signing into law of the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill will establish the Investigating Directorate against Corruption (IDAC) as a permanent entity within the NPA.

The ID was established five years ago to investigate cases of corruption and other serious crimes arising from the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa confident in second term despite challenges

Watch the president sign the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment into law:

According to the president, the new law makes it easier for the NPA to investigate and prosecute complex corruption cases since it increases its capacity and skills and enables the IDAC to recruit and retain specialist skills and appoint criminal investigators with full police powers.

“The IDAC will be able to reap the benefits of collaboration with the private sector and other social partners,” he said.

“When prosecutors obtain convictions before independent courts for serious crimes like corruption, they not only hold those responsible accountable. They also strengthen the rule of law.”

‘Groundbreaking development’

The NPA welcomed the president’s signing of the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill into law to establish the IDAC as a permanent entity.

“This groundbreaking development will create a permanent prosecution-led unit within the NPA with criminal investigative powers to pursue the most complex forms of corruption and associated crimes, in line with its mandate. This accords with international best practice to protect anti-corruption entities from political interference,” the NPA said in a statement.

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