Court nails monster dad
Rapist tried to dispute results of DNA tests
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