Media release

Government welcomes Warren Knoop sentencing

13 February 2017

Government welcomes the 32 life sentences and 170 years in prison handed down to convicted paedophile, Warren Knoop by the Johannesburg High Court.

Knoop was sentenced on 870 charges of rape and possession of child pornography.

Acting Director-General Donald Liphoko said: “Government is pleased with the sentencing which is indicative that the wheels of justice are turning. We will not tolerate such atrocious criminal acts especially against children in our country. We calls on parents, communities and children to engage in conversations that promote the rights of children, and educate them on reporting any suspicions of violation of their rights.”

Government has put in place child protection mechanisms such as legislation and international instruments that the country has ratified as a commitment to the protection of children’s rights. Key amongst this is Section 28 of the Constitution, which specifically deals with and lays the foundation of children’s rights. Government has also established the National Child Protection Register to keep a record of cases of abuse and deliberate neglect, convictions and outcomes of the Children’s Court. Other mechanisms include: The Children’s Act 38 of 2005; The Sexual Offences Act 32 of 2007; The Child Justice Act; The Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989; The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1999.

In November 2016, President Jacob Zuma launched the National Dialogues, which will see district municipalities convene dialogues throughout the year. “To echo our President during his address at the launch of the National Dialogues, ‘Women and children must be safe and must feel safe at home, in the streets and anywhere in the country’,” said Liphoko.

Government also commends the law enforcement agencies and the justice system for their dedicated work in bringing the perpetrator to book. Liphoko added, “Government reiterates that combating crime and the scourge of women and child abuse remains a priority. We call on communities to work with their local police station to report any crime. Our children are the future leaders of this country and it is every citizen’s duty to protect them. We can and must do more to protect the lives of children.

GCIS ADG further stated that all South Africans must play their part and move South Africa forward by protecting our children from harm and danger and joining hands with law enforcement agencies to bring an end to criminal activity. Between 2004 and 2014, more than 32 000 cases of child abuse were recorded in the Child Protection Register.”

Government remains committed to ensuring that all people in South Africa are and feel safe. To report any suspected child abuse, neglect or exploitation, please contact any of the following hotlines:

  • SMS Crime Line: 32211
  • SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10 111
  • Department of Social Development 24-hour Command Centre: 0800 428 428 (toll- free)
  • Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialing *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone
  • Child Welfare South Africa: 0861 424453 / 011 452-4110

Donald Liphoko
Cell: 082 901 0766

Issued by Issued by Government Communications and Information System

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