SCA delivers landmark ruling on sexual consent

SCA delivers landmark ruling on sexual consent

The Supreme Court of Appeal has delivered a ruling on the necessity of consent for sexual acts.

SA Supreme court of Appeals in Bloemfontein

*Warning: Please be advised the following story is not suitable for young children and may be triggering for survivors of sexual abuse.

The court found that a person must give consent for each specific sexual act.

The judgment upheld an appeal against the acquittal of a man who was sentenced for raping his girlfriend.

An earlier high court ruling overturned Loyiso Coko's rape conviction after he argued the couple's foreplay indicated the woman had tacitly consented to sex.

A law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa, represented the Centre for Gender Equality in court.

READ: ‘Disappointment’ at rape-accused Chatsworth pastor's bail

The firm's Laura Macfarlane says the judgement has clarified that silence or a lack of opposition is not an automatic consent.

"Those four principles are; agreement, communication, specificity and that contest is ongoing. So, if you say 'Yes' to a drink, that is the only thing you are saying 'Yes' to. 

"If you go forward and there more be some foreplay, the court has indicated that, that too would be consent only for that particular act, and it would not be consent for any subsequent acts."

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