George Donald, right, has been sentenced 11 years for raping his biological daughter and foster daughter in the 1980s.
Pretoria - George Donald was not an employee of the Hatfield Christian Church when he committed the crimes in the 1980s, but served as a volunteer in the children’s section.

The 67-year-old was sentenced in the Pretoria Regional Court to a total of 11 years for raping his biological daughter as well as his foster daughter.

The church said: “It is with deep sadness and regret that we have come to know of the immense pain caused to the families and victims affected by this tragic situation.

“Hatfield Christian Church does not condone, and is strongly against, actions of this nature and acknowledges the severe damage and hurt caused by such violations.

Read: Decade of sexual abuse by church volunteer revealed

“Owing to the length of time that has lapsed and the fact that those directly involved in the matter are either retired or deceased, we are not in a position at this point to speak with any certainty on the details of how the situation was managed all those years ago.

“Without detracting from that said above, we recognise that 30 years ago, matters such as these may have been handled differently by Hatfield Christian Church and by society as a whole (even the laws around such matters have changed significantly since then).

“With the insights gained over this period, and despite not having records to show precisely how the matter was handled at the time it arose, we acknowledge that we would certainly not treat such a tragedy as the one described in the manner it is said to have been handled.

“Hatfield Christian Church offers a sincere apology for any further hurt or damage that may have been caused by our handling of the situation.

“To our knowledge, the members of staff called upon to address the matter at the time were people of good character and integrity and it is difficult to imagine them dealing with any situation with ulterior motives or malicious intent.

“Currently, all those involved in working in our children’s church are required to obtain a police clearance on an annual basis.

“Our children’s church volunteers also go through a supervised probationary period before they are released to work with children.

“Hatfield Christian Church reaffirms its commitment to engaging with those affected by the matter at hand and to addressing their concerns and well-being.”

Pretoria News