The legal dating age
Sexual assault also arises from distributing footage, or photos of another person’s sexual parts or sexual act without their consent.This is why in running news bulletins, where for example school children, who have recorded; taken photos of sexual acts; or distributing it, may be charged with sexual assault, even though they themselves were not involved in the sexual act. Flashing persons; exploiting persons (especially children) for financial gains and various other aspects is also considered as sexual assault by the Sexual Offences Act.
Generally the legal age of consent is considered to be age 16 and above for all genders and sexual orientations, but certain exceptions apply, including that of sex with someone with a mental disability and other factors.Children under the age of 12, cannot be criminally prosecuted, but older persons can.It can also be argued by the hands of Act 32 of 2007 that children under the age of 12, engaging in sexual activities with themselves (for example masturbation), is illegal as the act defines sex as any activity where sexual arousal or stimulation is induced, that includes (as per the act), by oneself.It is illegal to have sex with a child under the age of 12, and for a child under the age of 12 to have sex with any person (regardless of age), even if the sex is consensual between the two persons.The Act governing the age of consent, and other related sexual matters and offences in South Africa are the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Act 32 of 2007, as amended.In South Africa a person is considered to be a child, when he or she is under the age of 18, however the Sexual Offences Act does allow consensual sex for persons 16 and older.
This creates a problem where the parents of a child between 16 and 18 do not consent to their child having sex.
Apart from other parts of the Sexual Offences Act, there are also protection for sexual acts for people ages 18 and above.
The most common factor (applicable for all ages) is sexual assault and rape, but something less known to South Africans is that sexual assault, ‘statutory rape’ and rape also may account for cases where persons, above or below age 18, forces another person to watch a sexual act (in person or on a multimedia medium) without their consent.
The sex act must also be consensual between both parties.
Persons also need to be weary of the age of becoming an adult (age 18 in South Africa), where the parents of a child still has authority about what he or she may consent to whilst under age 18.
Consensual sex is also allowed between children where one is below 16 and the other one above 16, provided that the age difference between them is not more than two 2 years.