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Specialist Paralegal: Sexual Offences Victim Advocacy

Application Form
Complete Online Application Form at

Start Date
15 July 2024

Apply By
21 June 2024


Duration & Format
This is a semester-long course where participants attend evening lectures from 17:30 to 19:00 once a week during the period 15 July to 22 October 2024. Exams will take place on the 30 October 2024 to 26 November 2024.

The course aims to train participants as specialist paralegals in victim advocacy to assist rape complainants at police stations or upskill state agents in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) that deal with sexual offences.  Participants will further be able to use the training to establish civil society groups or join civil society groups that advocate for women's and children's rights.

Course Outcomes
At the end of the course, the participant should be able to:

  • Exhibit sound knowledge of the function of the Criminal Justice System: the shortcomings and obstacles;
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the State’s duty toward complainants;
  • Develop the ability to respond to complainants with courtesy, compassion, dignity, and sensitivity;
  • Identify patterns of domestic violence and sexual abuse;
  • Prepare comprehensive written rape complaint statements;
  • Track cases and write comprehensive representations to the National Prosecuting Authority;
  • Identify, assess, interpret and evaluate relevant (facta probantia) evidence in connection with rape charges;
  • Collaborate with the Director of Public Prosecutions and/or investigating officers assigned to specific rape victims to draw up charges against the accused;
  • Apply ethical rules and behaviour within an environment that requires delicate skills and commitment.

Course Content
The course will cover the following topics:

Topic 1: Sexual Offences Procedure Outline

  • Introduction to legal process (criminal and civil) in cases of rape;
  • Introduction to the Sexual Offences Act. (The elements of the crime of rape);
  • The development of rape jurisprudence in South Africa;
  • Overview of children’s rights and the intersection with the Sexual Offences Act.

Topic 2: Sociolegal Aspects of Rape (Victimisation of complainants)

  • Overview of rape myths and gender stereotypes in cases of rape;
  • Introduction to the impact of sexual offences on victims;
  • Intervention techniques and support strategies;
  • Advocacy techniques and strategies.

Topic 3: Applied Methods

  • A guide to taking (written) statements;
  • National Prosecuting Authority Written Representations.

Target Audience
Candidates who are interested in sharpening their advocacy skills, who are in and who seek to work in civil society. 

Application Process
A minimum of an NQF 5 qualification. Applicants with relevant work experience in this area may also be admitted.

You will be required to submit a copy of your qualifications and academic record as well as a copy of your identity document or passport.

A detailed Curriculum Vitae will be required if your application is based on work experience.

Kindly note that all foreign qualifications must be submitted with a SAQA Evaluation Letter.

Additional Information
The following certificate can be obtained: 

  • Certificate of Competence: To obtain a certificate of competence, students are required to attend and participate in 75% of the lectures and to complete the assessments as required in the course.

This postgraduate certificate course is accredited by the university in accordance with its statutory mandate.  It does not lead to a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework.

Mahlatse Masemola Tel No: +27 11 717 8438; Email 
Ursula Dillner-Dangor Tel No: +27 11 717 8435; Email: