sexual abuse

Court hands down life sentences for those accused of sexual abuse of foster children. Image: Pixabay.

Elderly couple, 69 and 70, and relatives get life imprisonment for sexual abuse of children

The six accused were found guilty of 20 counts of sexual offences against children aged between four and nine years old.

sexual abuse

Court hands down life sentences for those accused of sexual abuse of foster children. Image: Pixabay.

The Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court sentenced two elderly foster parents to 12 life sentences and 95 years of imprisonment for sexual offences against minors over a five-year period. Two other relatives, who are a couple, also received four life sentences and 15 years imprisonment in this matter, and another couple in the family received a five-year suspended sentence with three years of correctional supervision.

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The foster parents are aged 70 and 69 years old, while the other couple who received life sentences are aged 43 and 49. The couple who are to serve a suspended sentence is 49 and 39 years old.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the accused were collectively convicted of 20 counts of sexual offences against three minor children aged between four and nine years old from 2005 until 2010 when they were arrested.

The heinous crimes came to light after the six-year-old victim went to school for a readiness assessment. The child told an educational psychologist that her foster parents were sexually assaulting her, and the psychologist reported the matter to the police.

“During the investigation, it was found that the six accused were sexually assaulting both their two foster children and their four biological children. 

“The six were arrested in December 2010 at their residence at Hammanskraal and Bultfontein. The children were then taken to a place of safety,” said the NPA spokesperson.

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Some of the charges the accused were convicted of included rape, indecent assault, compelled rape, compelled sexual assault, sexual grooming and child abuse and neglect.

The accused maintained their innocence throughout the trial and pleaded not guilty. However, the Stare was able to prove its case.

“In their victim impact statement, the children told the court that what happened to them has affected and continues to affect them as they now find it hard to trust people and maintain relations. They further told the court that they still suffer from the trauma caused by the six,” said the State.

In arguing for the aggravation of sentence, State Advocates Cornelia Harmzen and Marie Jonker said the six accused showed no remorse for their actions and subjected their children to the court’s scrutiny by making them testify and relive their trauma.

“In his sentence, the magistrate Pieter Nel said the six committed serious offences against their children over a long period of time. Such crimes will surely leave a long impact on the victims, and therefore, the sentence given was appropriate,” said Mahajana.

The NPA welcomed the sentences handed down to the accused and said it remains committed to prosecuting crimes of sexual offences, especially against children.