Pretoria - The Pretoria North Magistrate's court sentenced six family members to a combined 16 life terms and 110-year prison term for sexual offences against children.
The six comprise a foster couple, aged 70 and 69, along with their four relatives between the ages 39 and 49.
They were collectively convicted of 20 counts of sexual offences against three minors aged between four and nine
The offences occurred from 2005 until 2010, when they were arrested.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said the they were convicted of rape, indecent assault, compelled rape, compelled sexual assault, witnessing sexual acts, sexual grooming as well as child abuse and neglect.
The “gruesome” details came into light after a six-year-old foster child was taken for school readiness assessment where she disclosed to the educational psychologist that she was being sexually assaulted by her foster parents.
After receiving this information, the psychologist reported the matter to the police.
“During the investigation, it was found that the six accused were sexually assaulting both their two foster children and their four biological children. The six were arrested in December 2010 at their residence at Hammanskraal and Bultfontein while the children were then taken to a place of safety,” Mahanjana said.
They were tried and convicted of offences against three children. Mahanjana said the other children were too young to testify.
Mahanjana added that the six pleaded not guilty, but the State was able to provide evidence to prove they had sexually assaulted the children.
During sentencing, magistrate Pieter Nel said the six committed serious offences against their children over a long period. Such crimes would surely leave a long impact on the victims, thus the sentences given.