Life imprisonment for rapist father
THE MAN convicted of raping his 13-year-old daughter, who is now 27 -- and fathering three children with her -- has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Nelspruit magistrate Andre Geldenhuys said the 55-year-old man was not eligible for parole.
The man, from KaNyamazane, Mpumalanga, was found guilty of raping his daughter from 1998 until February 2006 when he was arrested.
Sentencing the father yesterday after it has been postponed 82 times because the man pleaded ill health, Geldenhuys said the man had manipulated and lied to his wife, daughter, family, community, pastors from his church, his lawyers, doctors and the court.
Geldenhuys said: "You used the Bible to deceive your wife and daughter. You made them believe it was your religion to ask your wife to pay ilobolo for your own daughter so that you could continue sleeping with her.
"You said God spoke to you in your dreams. You lied to the entire family. You made them believe that the Bible allowed you to do what you were doing. You told your daughter that she would go to heaven."
For about two hours, while Geldenhuys spoke, the man lay on the floor, coughing and clearing his throat.
"You kept them in your home, which was a prison for them ... a place were they could not be free," Geldenhuys said. "Your own family could not just come to your home. They needed permission and had to give you a date and time for their visit.
"You lied to them, saying the young children were born of your wife. Even your sister (who testified in mitigation of sentence) did not know that the children were born of your own child.
"Truthfully, all the witnesses you called had no knowledge of why you had been arrested."
He said it was clear from evidence given by the man's wife and daughter that they were scared of reporting the matter to the police.
"You have always regarded yourself as a person who is above the law. You ruined the life of your own daughter. You did not rape her only once, but for years. You took away her right to live, her education. She could not live a normal life the way children her age do."
Geldenhuys said the man had tried to manipulate the court into believing he was sick and should be given a lenient sentence.
A relative said his children with his daughter were between one and five years old when he was arrested.
Outside court the man's 29-year-old son said he was happy with the decision.
"It is hard but the court made a decision based on evidence," he said.
"Justice has been done. I believe he can change, but there is no hope now that he is being sent to prison for life.
"I have not seen my mother, sister and her children since my father's arrest. I do not know where they are."
The man's lawyer, Sibusiso Chambale, said his client had instructed him to file for leave to appeal both the conviction and sentence. "He believes the court was unfair. He believes the high court will reach a different conclusion." - email@example.com