Sextortion as a means of Gender Specific Corruption in the context of South Africa

There is consensus that corruption affects vulnerable groups the hardest, especially women and members of the LGBT community. In addition, it disproportionally affects those living in poverty and leaves them more exposed. Corruption also hinders progress toward gender equality and presents a barrier, especially for women and LGBTI persons to gain full access to their civic, social and economic rights. A particular form of corruption is sextortion, which is the abuse of power to obtain a sexual benefit or advantage affecting primarily women and marginalised persons such as LGBTI people due to existing patriarchal gender stereotypes and norms. In South Africa, sextortion is not necessarily seen as involving a “gratification” as contemplated in the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004 (PRECCA). The PRECCA does not explicitly refer to sex or sexual favours, but it also does not require money to be exchanged for an act to be considered corruption. Thus, we assume that theoretically, sextortion could be prosecuted under PRECCA . The question is whether the offence is explicit enough to name it corruption because no money is exchanged. Health Focus has been tasked by GIZ to:

  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research related to the interface of human rights, gender and corruption.
  • Analyse the required data on the causes and manifestations of sextortion as a form of corruption in South Africa.
  • Identify and analyse vulnerable areas/sectors where sextortion occurs.
  • Conduct a comparative analysis of legal frameworks, national policies and redress mechanisms addressing sextortion in Tanzania, Nigeria and Botswana.
  • Prepare an abstract on/executive summary of the research and convene, host a hybrid colloquium.
  • Prepare a comprehensive research report with findings and recommendations (inclusive of the results of the colloquium) relevant to the South African context.