Jus­tice has been served

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THE JO­HAN­NES­BURG Re­gional Court has re­stored our faith in the jus­tice sys­tem in the bat­tle against rape and women and child abuse. On Tues­day, the court sent a mon­ster fa­ther, who raped and im­preg­nated his own daugh­ter, to jail for life. The mes­sage was clear: There is no place in our so­ci­ety for men of his ilk, who prey on in­no­cent chil­dren they should be pro­tect­ing.

But while the 16 year-old’s life will never be the same as she raises her bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther’s baby, the sen­tence shows that when law en­force­ment agen­cies do their work prop­erly and build solid cases, the courts can play an im­por­tant role in mak­ing sure there is jus­tice for vic­tims of rape and child abuse.

The 47-year-old man tried all he could to evade jus­tice, in­clud­ing dis­put­ing re­sults of con­clu­sive DNA tests which placed him squarely at the scene of the hor­ren­dous crime.

We couldn’t have put it bet­ter than State pros­e­cu­tor Pa­trick Mor­ris who noted: “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.”

We are glad the court nailed this ex­cuse of a fa­ther who had, over as pe­riod of time in 2013, raped the girl and been in­volved in sex­ual groom­ing. He was also charged for dis­play­ing child pornog­ra­phy.

Women and child rights groups have hailed the sen­tence, say­ing it sent a clear mes­sage to per­pe­tra­tors that they would be caught and sent away for a long time.

We ap­plaud the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Author­ity and the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cers who worked tire­lessly to make sure the mon­ster was be­hind bars. We hope to see the same re­sults in other cases.

Sadly, the 16-year-old’s life has been wrecked and she might not have a nor­mal mother-daugh­ter re­la­tion­ship with her child. She might also hate men. She might never have a nor­mal life again, her in­no­cence ripped away by her fa­ther.

When women and child abuse is a daily oc­cur­rence in our com­mu­ni­ties, the Jo­han­nes­burg Re­gional Court has given us hope that the fight against these crimes is not lost.

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