By Sanette Viljoen
Courts regularly impose sentences with the aim of having them act as deterrents. However, they have no value if the sentences do not receive any publicity. Following are only a few of the recent sentences relating to rape:
– A 55-year-old man was charged with attempted murder after he had raped his 13-year-old daughter but also attacked her with an axe when she told her mother about it. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the regional court in Ga-Rankuwa.
– Another man attacked a woman and her husband on their way to a social gathering. He kidnapped the woman and raped her. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
– A 47-year-old man was sent to prison for 20 years after he had kidnapped a 10-year-old girl.
The above incidents indicate clearly that our courts are making a concerted effort to sentence these kinds of offenders properly. The courts are not only strict on the rapists, but also on rape that is not reported.
A mother who did not do enough to prevent her husband from raping their 12-year-old daughter, was found guilty in the Bloemfontein Supreme Court. On the date of sentencing in October 2016 she had already been in detention for a year.
Among others she allowed her daughter to get drunk with her and her husband.
In 2015 the daughter told her mother that her father was raping her. The father admitted this to the mother, but she did nothing about it. The mother also did not report it, as required by law, should a person be aware of such circumstances.
She was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for failing to report the rape. She also has to serve an additional two years for child abuse as a result of the alcohol abuse together with her minor daughter.
This therefore is a warning to all rapists and molesters that life imprisonment is the norm for this kind of crime. Any person who is aware of a rape and does not report it, also faces imprisonment.