Sentenced to life for raping daughters

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

A police officer who tormented and raped his two daughters has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Themba Dlavana, 57, was convicted of raping his two daughters, both virgins, between 1989 and 2000. The girls were aged 13 and 14 at the time they were first abused.

Dlavana raped his 13-year-old daughter once in June 1989. He began raping his 14-year-old child in 1998 and continued until 2000.

He also threatened to kill both girls if they ever told anyone about the rapes.

Yesterday Dlavana, a married father of five, was sentenced in absentia after he refused to come to court.

He was sentenced to three life terms and got a further two years for assaulting the second abused daughter with a stick.

State prosecutor Advocate Namika Kowlas told the court that Dlavana had refused to come out of his cell when his name was called.

Kowlas told the court that Dlavana has been avoiding sentencing since June, when he was found guilty.

"Since then he has refused to give information to the court and to the probation officer. He fired his previous defence counsels and refused to come up from the holding cells.

"He deliberately refused to come to court, saying that this court has no authority over him. The Legal Aid Board has now refused to help him any further," Kowlas said.

A defence counsel appointed by the bar council yesterday asked to be recused from the case after notifying the court that Dlavana had refused to cooperate with him.

Granting the application Judge Joop Labuschagne said he had also witnessed Dlavana's disruptive behaviour.

The judge said that Dlavana had called him names on numerous occasions and had once referred to him as a "so-called judge".

Passing sentence Judge Labuschagne said it was clear that Dlavana showed no remorse for his actions or mercy to his own daughters.

He said the aggravating factors were that both girls were virgins and one of them contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

"There is no doubt in my mind that they suffered severe trauma psychologically," he said.

"Society is sick and tired of this senseless crime.

"From his behaviour in court I'm of the view that he is a menace to society and should be removed," the judge said.