Johannesburg - A 51-year-old Randfontein man who was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting his step daughters was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Johannesburg High Court on Monday.

In February, Judge Cassim Moosa found the man guilty of rape and indecent assault of his two step daughters. The man can not be name to protect the identity of the victims.

Moosa said the man chose to shatter the trust of his step daughters, despite them loving him as their father.

The rape and sexual assault went on for a period of seven years.

Moosa said family circumstances, level of education, whether he was a first offender, and remorse were considered when making a decision on a suitable sentence.

He said that the victims did not testify during pre-sentencing proceedings and had taken a turn for worst after having to talk about the incidents in court.

The traumatic incidents the two sisters were experiencing at home were discovered when they confided in their school counsellor after they were not assisted by their mother, who told the court she was not a confrontational person and did not know how to address the matter with her husband.

"The accused has shown no remorse during the trial and turned his step daughters into his wives and had regular sexual intercourse with them."

The mother of the two girls had witnessed the man putting his hands in the underwear of one of her daughter's, but failed to question him about his misconduct.

During the trial, the sisters told the court that they initially kept quiet about the indecent actions of their step father because they thought all young girls experienced the same thing at their homes. 

The girls found the courage to speak out after a friend of theirs who was experiencing the same abuse told them that it was not meant to be happening.

"He failed dismally as a father and has left his family destitute."

Moosa said the effects of the continued assault and rape on one of the girls resulted in her having anxiety, fear, trust issues, suicidal tendencies and promiscuous behaviour at a young age.

"Hardly a day passes without a report in the media about a woman or child being raped and abused," Moosa said.

"I'm of the view that no compelling circumstances have been provided to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence of life imprisonment."

The rapist stepfather stood emotionless in the dock while Moosa handed down sentence and ordered him to participate in sex offender and anger management programs.

Directly after sentencing, defense advocate Marius Van Wyngaard indicated he would apply for leave to appeal the sentence.

State prosecutor Rolene Bester told the court that no court would impose another sentence and the application should not be granted.

Moosa said a court that was satisfied that its judgement was correct should not grant leave to appeal simply for the sake of it. 

"All that is necessary is that there should be reasonable prospect that the appeal will succeed."

The application for leave to appeal was denied.