Court ruling grants crime victims identity protection but only until they are 18

The North Gauteng High Court passed down a judgment on Tuesday in a landmark case about protecting the identity of child victims and child witnesses from being exposed in the media.

The judge declared that the provision which protects the identity of child witnesses and offenders should be extended to include victims of crimes. The applicant has also argued that these protections should extend beyond the age of 18 years.

The court dismissed that aspect of the application. The court gave an order protecting Zephany Nurse's identity until all appeals are exhausted.

It is disappointing that the court found that the protection of identity should not continue beyond the age of eighteen.

Dr. Ann Skelton, Director at Center For Child Law, University Of Pretoria

Skelton says, the one positive outcome of the judgment, was the judge's ruling to protect identities of victims below the age of eighteen.

We are going to apply for leave to appeal. We remain firm in our view that the case is highly winnable.

Dr. Ann Skelton, Director at Center For Child Law, University Of Pretoria

If someone has gone through the trauma of a crime, they find it far more difficult to recover if they are doing so in the full glare of the publicity and having their identities known makes it worse says Skelton.

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