A man in Carolina, Mpumalanga was sentenced to a double life sentence after being convicted of raping his two daughters.
The case was concluded in Carolina Regional Court on Monday, August 24, 2020.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) in the province welcomed the heavy sentence.
“The court’s decision to reach this conclusion was informed by overwhelming evidence presented by the victims as well as by the investigator and by key evidence from the prosecutor. This incident took place in Carolina from August 06 to 22, 2017, ”Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement on Thursday August 27, 2020.
Police said the children’s mother knew they were being abused, but chose to keep quiet.
Authorities were only able to unveil the incidents when one of the girls’ teachers suspected something was wrong after noticing a drastic drop in her school performance.
“When asked, the girl told her story to the teacher and also pointed out that her sister had also gone through a similar experience. The case was immediately brought to the attention of the police, after which charges were laid, ”Hlathi added.
Mother sentenced to five years
While the police conducted their own investigation, the Social Development Department removed the children from their homes. Both parents were then arrested on August 22, 2017.
During the court proceedings, the father was convicted of two counts of rape and the mother for trying to cover up the abuse.
While the father received two life sentences for each count of rape, the mother was sentenced to five years for failing to report the abuse to the police.
“When the parents were sentenced, the magistrate Ricardo Regional Cloete reminded the accused what a father means to his children. He told her that a father is supposed to protect his children from harm, but instead it is the accused who has done the same harm that he should protect his children from, ”Hlathi said.
The magistrate also addressed the mother, saying she failed to protect her children by choosing not to report the case and sweeping her under the carpet.
Provincial commissioner Lt. Gen. Mondli Zuma condemned the rape of girls and said the sentences would serve as a deterrent, especially at a time when gender-based violence (GBV) has become a pandemic in the country.