Rapist fa­ther gets 30 years

TWO DECADES: SIS­TERS IN FIGHT FOR JUS­TICE AF­TER ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF THEIR DAD

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS - Sanelisiwe Tsinde

‘His daugh­ters thought he would show re­morse and apol­o­gise.’

The sen­tenc­ing of 54-year-old Mike Cun­ning­ham is proof that jus­tice pre­vails, even if it takes two decades. The Cler­mont man was sen­tenced to an ef­fec­tive 30 years im­pris­on­ment by the Pine­town Re­gional Court fol­low­ing an in­tense in­ves­ti­ga­tion into rape charges lev­elled against him by his daugh­ters, re­ports High­way Mail.

Cun­ning­ham was ac­cused of rap­ing his daugh­ters re­peat­edly in 1997 and 1998, when they were 10 and 11 years old.

Both com­plainants did not live with their fa­ther at the time, but he would rape them when they vis­ited him at his home in Ndun­duma.

Pine­town Clus­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer, Cap­tain Bongu­musa Man­qele, said: “In 1999, they con­fided in their late grand­mother and a case of rape was opened in KwaDabeka where the ac­cused was work­ing as a po­lice re­servist, but it was sub­se­quently with­drawn.”

This case was again re­ported to the po­lice in July 2017 and the ac­cused was sen­tenced to 30 years im­pris­on­ment last month.

De­spite the de­fence ask­ing for a min­i­mum sen­tence for the ac­cused, say­ing there was not enough ev­i­dence, he is a 54-year-old fa­ther with 12 de­pen­dants, self-em­ployed, never had the sup­port of his mother, a first-time of­fender and is on med­i­ca­tion for di­a­betes, the state man­aged to se­cure a lengthy sen­tence.

Rep­re­sent­ing the state, ad­vo­cate Sizwe Khany­ile said Cun­ning­ham failed to pro­tect his daugh­ters and raped them re­peat­edly.

In a state­ment from one of his daugh­ters, which was read in court, she ex­plained how this or­deal turned her into an ag­gres­sive per­son who al­ways picks fights, es­pe­cially with boys.

In the state­ment, she also men­tioned she was robbed of her

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