A South African judge has ordered that a child, raped by a close family member, must be provided with state-funded counselling for at least two years to help her recover from the trauma of the sexual attacks. Further sessions may be added at the end of the two years, depending on whether the child needs more help at that stage. Despite an epidemic of child and adult rape in South Africa, such an order, made in this case as part of judgment on sentence, is extremely rare.
The rape of children is an enormous problem in a number of African countries, with South Africa being one of the hot spots. But this week, a court in SA’s Eastern Cape province delivered a decision in such a case that stands out for several reasons.