Image via: Adobe Stock
Image via: Adobe Stock
A man in Carolina, Mpumalanga has been handed a double life sentence after he was found guilty for raping his two daughters.
The case was concluded at the Carolina Regional Court on Monday, 24 August 2020.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province have welcomed the heavy sentence.
“The decision by the court to arrive at this conclusion, was informed by overwhelming evidence presented by the victims as well as the investigator and leading evidence by the Prosecutor. This incident took place in Carolina between 06 and 22 August 2017”, said Brigadier Leonard Hlathi in a statement on Thursday, 27 August 2020.
Police say the children’s mother knew they were being abused, but chose to kept quiet.
Authorities were only able to lift the lid on the incidents when one of the girls’ teachers suspected that something was wrong after noticing a drastic drop in her school performance.
“When asked, the girl related her story to the teacher and also pointed out that her sister too, had suffered a similar experience. The matter was immediately brought under the attention of the police whereupon charges were laid”, Hlathi further said.
While police conducted their own investigation, the department of social development removed the children from their home. Both parents were then arrested on 22 August 2017.
During court proceedings, the father was found guilty on two counts of rape and the mother for attempting ton cover up the abuse.
While the father received two life terms for each count of rape, the mother was sentenced to five years for failing to report the abuse to the police.
“When sentencing the parents, Magistrate Ricardo Regional Cloete reminded the accused what a father means to his children. He told him that a father is supposed to protect his children against harm but instead, the accused was the one who caused the very same harm he was to protect his children from”, Hlathi said.
The magistrate also laid into the mother, saying she failed to protect her children by choosing to not report the matter and sweeping it under the carpet.
The province’s commissioner Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has condemned the rape of the girls and indicated that the sentences would serve as a deterrence, particularly during a time when Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) has become a pandemic in the country.