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’Evil’ Fortune handed three life terms for Michaela rape, murder

Published Jun 15, 2021


SELF-CONFESSED child rapist and murderer Steven Fortune, 49, was handed three life sentences plus seven years imprisonment at the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Judge Robert Henney further ordered that the judgment of the “evil individual” be forwarded to the Minister of Justice and Ministers of Correctional Services.

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Fortune, a repeat offender who had been declared a dangerous criminal, was convicted of the murder and rape of 12-year-old Michaela Williams who went missing from her New Horizons home on January 7 last year.

Fortune had previously served a jail term for the attempted rape and murder of an eight-year-girl but was released on bail.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said they welcomed the sentence, which was ordered to run concurrently.

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“Fortune was sentenced to imprisonment for murder and two life imprisonments for the two rape charges. He was sentenced to seven years for kidnapping. The court ordered that all the charges run concurrently. He was declared unfit to possess a firearm and the court further ordered that his name be added to the national register of sex offenders.

“The court has asked that the judgment be forwarded for the attention of the Minister of Justice and the Ministers of Correctional Services. All court document evidence to be served to the Head of Prison where he will be detained to serve his life sentence,” said Ntabazalila.

In his plea agreement, Fortune had detailed how he had lured Michaela with promises of cake while she played with friends outside her home after having supper.

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He had then taken her over a busy road to a vacant plot in Schaapkraal and when she had tried to scream and run away from him, he choked her until she lost consciousness.

While she was unconscious, Fortune had raped Michaela and when she regained consciousness and tried to scream, he strangled her with her skirt before throwing two concrete blocks on her head. He then covered her body with a blanket and three branches before leaving the scene.

When Fortune returned to New Horizons and found a search was under way for Michaela, he joined in the search.

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“He had planned to rape the deceased and murder her afterwards so that she could not report what he had done,” court documents read.

After frantic searches by the community, Fortune was sought and questioned by police. He later pointed them to where Michaela’s lifeless body was found in Schaapkraal.

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Crime and courts