Steven Fortune sentenced to three life terms for the rape and murder of Michaela Williams

Steven Fortune being led away by police after he was sentenced. picture Genevieve Serra

Steven Fortune being led away by police after he was sentenced. picture Genevieve Serra

Published Jun 14, 2021


Cape Town - Convicted killer and rapist Steven Fortune has been sentenced to three life terms for raping and murdering Michaela Williams, 12, of Pelican Park. He received seven years for kidnapping her.

In the Cape High Court, Judge Robert Henney said Fortune was one of the most evil individuals he had come across in his 30 years as judicial officer.

Fortune was recently declared a dangerous criminal after he was assessed by a panel of psychologists and psychiatrists.

Henney called Fortune a monster: “I do not have the right words, a blatant evil monster,” he said.

Michaela Williams Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

“In all of my 30 years as a judicial officer, this is one of the most evil individuals I have come across, who admitted he cannot get enough of young girls.

“He has psychopathic traits.”

Inside court were Michaela’s parents, Beatrice Adams, Magedien Loggenberg and her stepdad Allister Adams.

Also present was Patricia Japtha. Japhta’s daughter was raped and stabbed by the same suspect in 2005. She was eight years old at the time.

The mother of Michaela Williams, Beatrice Adams, stands with Patricia Japhta and others after Steven Fortune was sentenced. picture Genevieve Serra

Fortune was convicted and sentenced in 2006 for the child’s rape and attempted murder.

Fortune was granted parole in 2017. He admitted earlier this year that during his release period, he had raped nine other girls.

It is unclear whether those cases will be looked at.

Henney said the only suitable sentence would be that of life imprisonment.

He sentenced Fortune to one life term for murder, two life terms for two counts of rape and seven years for kidnapping.

He ordered that Fortune’s case history be attached to his prison profile. This would include all his cases, the court record of the sentencing, images of the crime scene and the report from the panel of psychologists and psychiatrists. It was to accompany him when he came back after a set period for any parole consideration.

“The ultimate severe form of punishment is life,” said Henney.

People in the public gallery cheered at the outcome.

Outside court, Michaela’s mother breathed a sigh of relief: “Now there is one dangerous person removed from the streets and our children and play safely, but we will always be keeping watch.”

Jaftha agreed: “Now our children are safe and we do not have to see a monster life Fortune. We thank the judge for the three life sentences.”

Fortune detailed in a plea agreement how he had lured Michaela from outside her home.

He had decided he would rape and kill her after promising to buy her a cake for her birthday.

Michaela had attempted to flee from Fortune as they walked towards Schaapkraal where her body would later be found in a vacant piece of land.

Fortune choked her with his hands and said the child had fought back. Michaela had hit him in the face, causing his nose to bleed.

He said he choked her until she fainted and tied her hands using her own vest before raping her repeatedly.

Michaela regained consciousness and began to scream.

He took her shirt and strangled her with it before throwing two concrete bricks at her head and covering her with a blanket and tree branches.

Weekend Argus

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