CAPE TOWN: The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) welcomes the decision made by the Western Cape High Court today to admit the WLC as an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, in the landmark case Booysen vs Dolley which will have wide consequences for womxn who choose to name their perpetrators of sexual violence publicly and on social media.
The case concerns the alleged rape of Dolley by Booysen, 19 years ago and is of particular importance as it addresses the gagging of a womxn from speaking publicly about the fact that she was raped. This worrying trend of interdicts being brought against womxn to prevent them publishing information about their experiences of gender-based violence, and those who had abused them, constitutes a violation of their constitutional right to free speech and thereby silences womxn and legitimises rape culture in South Africa.
“This is not just a dispute between two people as brought on paper. The matter and its outcome will have an impact on millions of womxn who are trying to navigate the reality and fears of rape in South Africa. For this reason, in our application to Court, we had stated that the need for a gendered lens in these types of matters are necessary, so that our Courts are able to make its determination contextually,” notes WLC attorney Chriscy Blouws.
The WLC has joined the matter above to provide a specific gendered and feminist context before the Court and to highlight the lived reality of womxn who are survivors of gender-based violence in South Africa.
The WLC looks forward to the hearing of this matter which will take place virtually on 4 August 2021. Follow the WLC social media pages for updates on the developments on the case.
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The Women’s Legal Centre is an African feminist legal centre that advances womxn’s rights and equality using tools such as litigation, advocacy, education, advice, research and training.
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