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The realisation of these rights are hindered by certain barriers. The first example used will be the importance of traditional cultures present in South African society and the patriarchal systems which they establish.
This has been made particularly relevant in contemporary South Africa due to the 2005/2006 rape trial of (then, Vice-) President Jacob Zuma.
Importantly in regards to the rape trial, “the relationship with/between the accused and the complainant could have been culturally and politically structured in such a way as to make it extremely difficult for the latter to reject and resist sexual advances and demands of the accused” (Robins 2008, 424).
Nevertheless it is vital to note that, in regards to sexual learning, traditional Zulu culture was reasonably liberal; young people’s advances into adult sexuality were monitored.
Secondly, the essay will show how the legacy of apartheid has normalised violence and entrenched mistrust of the police services, the latter being one of the main obstacles to overcome in order to achieve efficient combatting of sexual violence.
The conclusion will be reached that sexual violence is so complex to combat due to the numerous cultural and traditional beliefs present in South Africa.
Prior to colonisation, South Africa was made up of many tribal cultures such as Swazi and Zulu.
However, it appears contemporary South Africa is made up of a ‘patchwork of patriarchies’- women being subordinate in the majority of Southern African societies, subject to their chiefs or heads of the family (Bozzoli 1983, 149).
This essay will work within the World Health Organisation’s definition which regards sexual violence as “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed, against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, but not limited to home and work”South Africa’s democratic constitution of 1994 (introduced in 1996) was very advanced for its time ensuring equal rights for all, promising considerable change after the apartheid.Generally speaking, the constitution and laws of South Africa are very liberal, yet the reality is that (Hassim 2009, 57).The realisation of the rights promised in the constitution is limited for several reasons, such as lack of political will and cultural beliefs.The constitution incorporated one of the most progressive sex offence acts in the world, inclusive of marital rape, consensual sex acts involving a minor and restrictions in the making of pornography.Rape was seen to be a man having unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent.