chapter  6
13 Pages

Sexual Abuse, HIV/AIDS, and the Legal Rights of Women in Swaziland

WithPhumelele Thwala

This chapter shows that Swaziland's judicial system has failed to take appropriate measures to protect the rights of women. The human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic has struck, yet the courts have not shown any cognizance of it when dealing with sexual abuse cases. The Swaziland National AIDS Programme revealed that during the first three months of 1996, 160 AIDS cases were reported. Substantial evidence indicates that sexual abuse cases in Swaziland. have also increased. The police commissioner stated that a total of 496 rape cases were reported during 1993. It is important to note that the application of the cautionary rule in sexual cases is not based on any rule of law; it is a creature of practice. There is no law justifying the existence of the cautionary rule. It is difficult not to concur with the Namibian court, especially after having examined the basis of the cautionary rule.