A verdict overturning the conviction of a former paramedic for rape who had sex with his girlfriend after she explicitly told him she was a virgin and did not want penetrative sex has been severely criticized by some legal authorities.
The Makhanda Regional Court sentenced Loyiso Coko, then 23, to seven years in prison for raping the Rhodes University graduate student in his home in the small town in July 2018.
But Two Makhanda High Court justices overturned his conviction, ruling that the judge had made several serious mistakes in concluding that Coko’s version of believing she had tacitly consented to his actions was reasonable or may not be true Could be.
Acting Judge Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, who agreed to Judge Nyameko Gqamana, said that the issue of consent and intent in this Matter are interrelated.
But the International Commission of Jurists – Africa has slammed its verdict.
“The ICJ Africa is appalled to see this action Judge Ngcukaitobi ruled in favor of … Coko decided where (he) argued that the foreplay he had with his ex-girlfriend indicated that she had tacitly consented to the sex, “tweeted the organization.
” In one country at With high rates of gender-based violence and feminicide, equating foreplay with consent is inherently harmful and ignores the realities of the power dynamic between partners. ”
The woman had testified that she and Coko the night of the incident He was cuddling and kissing at home and she had made it clear to him that she was a virgin who didn’t want penetrative sex. They had oral sex, which she consented to, after which he penetrated her. She had indicated to him after the penetration that he was hurting her.
Coko had admitted that she had told him she did not want to have penetrative sex and said he had no intention of doing so to ignore. But, he said, based on her later behavior and body language, he really believed she agreed.
Ngcuakaitobi said the magistrate was wrong when it decided that because the woman was still a virgin, “A little more” was required to show their consent and that it was not enough for Coko to rely solely on their behavior as an example of consent.
“Consent means the same thing regardless of whether the victim is a virgin or not. It would be an unfortunate precedent if the law applied a different threshold for consent in relation to people who are not virgins. ”
He said the law stipulated that the defense of consent had that Consent to be successful must be given “consciously and voluntarily, either expressly or tacitly”.
He said it was evidence for both Coko and the complainant that they were an equal and active participant in kissing and cuddling has been. She had agreed to have her clothes removed and had no objection to oral sex.
“The only area of argument was after penetration.”
Ngcuakaitobi said the state had failed to prove that Coko’s version, which he genuinely believed had at least tacit approval, was unequivocally wrong.
Human rights lawyers tweeted that they were disappointed with the verdict, too. < / p>
“Consent to a single sexual act can never imply consent to all sexual acts,” it says.