Court nails monster dad

Rapist tried to dis­pute re­sults of DNA tests

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - NOKUTHULA ZWANE AND ANA nokuthula.zwane@inl.co.za @Zwane_2li2ls

WOMEN and child pro­tec­tion groups have hailed the Johannesburg Re­gional Court for send­ing a fa­ther who raped and im­preg­nated his daugh­ter away for life.

The sen­tence, which comes in the wake of a wave of abuse and mur­ders of women and chil­dren, will go a long away in send­ing a clear mes­sage to per­pe­tra­tors that the law will deal harshly with them, the or­gan­i­sa­tions said yes­ter­day.

But they added that the 16-year-old’s life had been ru­ined and that she might not have a close mother-daugh­ter re­la­tion­ship with her child.

The 47-year-old man was con­victed yes­ter­day after he ini­tially tried to deny the crimes and re­sults of DNA tests that proved he had fa­thered his own daugh­ter’s child.

NPA spokesper­son Phindi Mjonond­wane said in a state­ment that the man, who can­not be named to pro­tect the iden­tity of the child, had been charged with one count of rape, al­ter­na­tively in­cest, one count of dis­play of child pornog­ra­phy as well as sex­ual groom­ing of a child.

The of­fences were com­mit­ted over a pe­riod dur­ing 2013.

Peo­ple Op­pos­ing Women Abuse (Powa) led the way in wel­com­ing the life sen­tence, say­ing this would send a mes­sage to sex­ual of­fend­ers that harsh pun­ish­ment awaited them.

“Some­thing like this should not have hap­pened, but if the fa­ther of the child got a life sen­tence for his crime then it’s good enough,” said Powa’s coun­selling ser­vices man­ager Jeanette Sera.

She added: “This case will give hope to other vic­tims of sex­ual of­fences to come for­ward to re­port their cases, be­cause the jus­tice sys­tem is do­ing some­thing.”

Di­rec­tor of Child­line Gaut­eng Lynne Ca­wood echoed Sera’s sen­ti­ment that the sen­tence was good for the jus­tice sys­tem.

“We com­mend all the peo­ple in­volved in the sen­tenc­ing, es­pe­cially the NPA and in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cers. This in­di­cates that the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem takes cases of child abuse very se­ri­ously,” said Ca­wood.

“This sex­ual of­fender was a fic­ti­tious par­ent in groom­ing his chil­dren. There was a re­la­tion­ship of trust be­tween him and his daugh­ter. The tragedy is that he would have en­gaged in the process of ma­nip­u­lat­ing his child to get what he wanted,” she added.

Mjonond­wane said the 16-yearold fell preg­nant due to the abuse, while the fa­ther con­tin­ued to deny the al­le­ga­tions de­spite be­ing linked by DNA.

“The ac­cused dis­puted the DNA re­sults. An in­de­pen­dent lab­o­ra­tory retested the re­sults, and once again pos­i­tively linked the ac­cused,” she said.

State pros­e­cu­tor Patrick Morris said a heinous crime had been com­mit­ted on an in­no­cent child who de­pended on an adult for pro­tec­tion.

“This is the worst kind of abuse. The fa­ther, who should pro­tect his child, raped her, im­preg­nated her and then the fi­nal in­sult – at­tempted to make her a liar in a court of law.”

Morris said it was in the in­ter­est of jus­tice and that of so­ci­ety to im­pose harsher sen­tences to curb vi­o­lent crimes against women and chil­dren.

Dr Sha­heda Omar from the Teddy Bear Clinic con­tended that courts should im­pose harsh sen­tences for th­ese crimes. She added that even though the fa­ther had re­ceived a life sen­tence, this would not bring back the child’s in­no­cence.

“This was a gross form of abuse and could lead to a love/hate re­la­tion­ship be­tween (the teenager) and her child,” she as­serted.

“It is un­likely that she (the teenager) would form a bond with her child.”

Mjonond­wane said the State asked the court not to de­vi­ate from im­pos­ing the pre­scribed sen­tence of life im­pris­on­ment as it was con­vinced there were no sub­stan­tial and com­pelling cir­cum­stances present jus­ti­fy­ing such de­par­ture.

“The NPA is sat­is­fied that the court ar­rived at a just sen­tence that is pro­por­tion­ate to the se­ri­ous­ness of the crime,” she said.

The Di­rec­tor of Public Pros­e­cu­tions in the Gaut­eng Lo­cal Di­vi­sion, ad­vo­cate An­drew Chauke, wel­comed the sen­tence. “This sen­tence serves to re­as­sure com­mu­ni­ties that the NPA re­mains com­mit­ted in de­liv­er­ing a vic­tim-cen­tric ser­vice.”

This case will give hope to vic­tims of sex­ual vi­o­lence

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