It is no wonder that Part B of the Child Protection Register (CPR) contains a mere 40 names. Despite the claims by the Department of Social Development’s spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant, that there are no flaws with the register, we have established that there are no protocols in place for having names of convicted offenders placed on the CPR.
Responding to the issue raised by the DA in a press conference yesterday, Ms Oliphant claimed that it was impossible to automatically list the names of convicted offenders on the register. This should not be the case. The whole purpose of the register is negated if it cannot be ensured that the name of every person convicted of murder, attempted murder, rape, indecent assault or assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm with regard to a child is added to the register upon conviction.
It appears to us from initial enquiries to the Magistrate and Regional courts that there is no protocol for ensuring that information is conveyed from the courts to the Department of Social Development in the event of a conviction and an appropriate order having been made.
To this end we will be writing to the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Ms Nonkululeko Sindane, to request that she commissions an investigation into why there is no existing protocol to guide this process and to take the necessary steps to have such protocol put in place as soon as possible.
Clearly, urgent steps must be taken to get the CPR working in a manner that will prevent sexual predators from having easy access to children. While the CPR is no silver bullet for combating sexual or other abuse against children, it is a means of curtailing further offences by convicted offenders.