Cape Town – Judgment has been reserved in the Western Cape High Court gag order case between Rev. June Dolley-Major and her alleged rapist, a Reverend of the Anglican Church.
The man, who is currently suspended from his pastoral duties, while a diocesan court is underway, had lent himself to the High Court of the Western Cape to obtain redress that Dolley-Major does not name him on social networks, citing that defamatory statements had been made against him in the public domain, after she named him as her alleged rapist.
Earlier this week, arguments were heard by the High Court and observations were made by the Women’s Legal Center (WLC), admitted as a friend of the court, in the case – which they say will have major consequences for women, who choose to name their perpetrators of sexual violence publicly and on social networks.
In her argument head, Dolley-Major said: “The facts of this case demonstrate that for too long rape has been used as a tool to relegate the women of this country to second-class citizens, on which men can exercise their power and control and in doing so deprive them of their rights to equality, human dignity and bodily integrity.
Dolley-Major argued that his alleged rapist was abusing the court with the urgent request, as his name had already been mentioned publicly in 2016, and said the only reason he brought this urgent matter up was because of his suspension by the church, while legal proceedings are pending.
WLC gave the example of how dozens of women came forward in the #MeToo movement and how the same happened in this case, where many women spoke out against the alleged rapist after Dolley- Major published his public messages.
“There is also a common belief that women lie about being raped. This belief is rooted in a distrust of women’s accounts of their experiences. The reality is that misrepresentation constitutes between 2 and 7% of all reported cases of sexual assault. Talking about the experience of rape and identifying your attacker is not a question of revenge or punishment, ”submitted WLC.
The man argued that “the conduct of (Dolley-Major) is illegal and causes a real disruption to my life, my activities, my ability to earn an income and the activities of my family.”
Responding to the WLC’s arguments, the man said he “does not dispute the Amicus’ arguments that rape is a heinous crime and that rape victims have a right to be heard.”
“This is not a dispute between the Respondent and all women who have ever been raped or sexually assaulted, nor a dispute between all men and women in South Africa. This is a very limited dispute, between the plaintiff and the defendant, in which the plaintiff argues that the defendant should be prevented from posting defamatory comments about him, ”said the alleged rapist.
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