Cape Town – A 56-year-old De Aar man has lost his appeal against his life sentence for the rape and sexual assault of his stepdaughter, whom he started abusing in 2006 when she was 7 years old.
The man from the Northern Cape, who can’t be named to protect the identity of the victim, was convicted in July 2017 following a trial that ran intermittently from October 2011.
The accused appealed against his conviction and sentence in November last year, which was dismissed by the High Court in Kimberly on Friday.
The judgment read: “The complainant was robbed of her innocence in the sanctity of her own private space where she was supposed to have been safe. She regarded the appellant as her father who was supposed to have been protective of her.
“The emotional scars emanating from the agony is likely to remain with her for her lifetime. Her plaintive requests to her stepfather to stop were ignored. He carried on, undeterred.
“It was placed on record that the complainant was not infected with HIV. Even so, the fact that the appellant knowingly sexually violated the complainant while he was HIV-positive is one of the most aggravating features of this case.
“While his ill-health is a factor to be considered in determining the appropriate sentence, the punishment must fit the crime.”
The victim and her younger brother lived with their grandparents in Orania during the weekdays and would visit their parents in another suburb over weekends.
This stopped after the girl reported the sexual abuse to her aunt.
The regional court magistrate had also found the victim’s mother guilty of an attempt of defeating or obstructing the ends of justice by removing documents from the man’s clinic file, which showed that he was HIV-positive, and a failure to report the sexual offences he was committing against her daughter to the police.
She was sentenced to five years in prison and did not appeal. The National Prosecuting Authority welcomed the judgment.
The region’s spokesperson, Mojalefa Senokoatsane, said: “The NPA is satisfied with the outcome of the case as well as the sentence given to the accused, and we believe that the sentence will serve as a deterrent to other abusers who are thinking that they can get away with abusing vulnerable members of the communities.
“Prosecutor Cornelius Jonker should be commended for a job well done in ensuring that the accused was successfully prosecuted. The NPA, through successful prosecutions in our courts, continues to ensure that all the victims of GBV are protected and perpetrators are successfully prosecuted and get appropriate sentences.
’’The accused will be serving his sentence and that is a successful prosecution.”