File picture: Timothy A. Clary
Cape Town – A farm worker who “sexually groomed” two young farm girls, aged eight and nine, by sexually exposing himself to them, in different incidents, before raping the older one twice, was jailed for life on Tuesday.

Koos Klein, 38, appeared in the Parow Sexual Offences Court, before magistrate Mandy van Leefe who said the life sentence was meant to reflect the revulsion of society for what he had done.

He had several previous convictions, including one for indecent assault in 1995 and another for rape in 2003, and he perpetrated the current offences last year, whilst out on parole.

As he sat in the dock in the court room, waiting for the proceedings to commence, he smiled at the magistrate, as if trying to “soft soap” her with charm.

She rebuked him sharply, and said that there was “nothing to smile about”.

In addition to the life sentence on two counts of rape, treated as one for the purpose of sentence, the magistrate ordered that Klein’s name be recorded in the Register for Sexual Offenders.

According to the charge sheet, he first exposed himself to the nine-year-old, in one incident, and then to the other, in a different incident, last year.

After that, he had oral sex with the nine-year old, and then raped her. The magistrate ruled that oral sex with a nine-year-old amounted to rape.

Legal Aid defence attorney Carmelila Samuels urged the court to rule that there were substantial and compelling reasons to deviate from the life sentence, and suggested 15 years for both, taken as one.

But the magistrate agreed with prosecutor Yolanda Pretorius that there were in fact no reasons to deviate from the prescribed life sentence.

The magistrate said minimum sentences were legislated for good reason, and that the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) had urged the lower courts not to deviate from prescribed sentences for “flimsy reasons”.

During the period that the offences happened, Klein had lived on farm land in Durbanville, and had known both girls as well as their parents.

The parents had trusted him, and had allowed him to accompany the girls to the shops.

In both incidents of rape, Klein had managed to lure the nine-year-old into nearby bushes.

The magistrate said the court shuddered at the fear that the girl must have experienced, first when Klein forced his privates into her mouth, and then when he raped her.

She said the communities were “sick and tired” of the continuing plague of violence against women and children, and expected the courts to punish appropriately.