According to Cosatu’s Western Cape gender committee, men charged with rape should be regarded as guilty until proven innocent and they have demanded that the law be changed to reflect this.
I wonder how charitably the president of Cosatu (the unfortunately named Willy Madisha) would feel towards the gender committee if their proposal was written into the statute books and someone with an axe to grind chose to lay a charge against him.
Without doubt, the rape statistics for South Africa are gut-wrenchingly shocking, but “guilty until proven innocent” on the basis of an accusation alone? This is obviously based on the ‘no smoke without fire’ principle, but clearly the brain that the committee normally use to do their collective thinking was in the shop for repairs when they came up with that little gem. Surely any solution to a social problem as serious as rape is going to require at least a light dusting of intelligent thought to be workable?