Six months after sex abuse claims rocked the Anglican Church of Southern Africa‚ it has adopted new measures to deal with the issue.
With immediate effect‚ anyone wanting to be ordained to the Anglican clergy will have to provide a police clearance certificate‚ Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said on Wednesday.
From January‚ the same rule would be progressively introduced for lay ministers‚ especially those involved in youth ministry and Sunday school teaching.
The church has also set up an e-mail address to make it easier to report allegations of abuse.
Makgoba renewed an earlier call for a change in the Criminal Procedure Act so that historic cases of alleged sexual abuse can be prosecuted.
“Most of the half-dozen cases which have emerged this year concern events which occurred more than 20 years ago‚ which – except in cases of rape – prevents victims from pursuing their cases through criminal courts in South Africa‚” he said.
“I therefore reiterate my earlier support for quick action by parliament to change the law to allow such prosecutions to take place. Victims of sexual abuse need to be able to pursue charges both in criminal courts and in church tribunals.”