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Outrage as father gets no jail time for sexually assaulting daughter for 8 years

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"The National Prosecuting Authority owes the community an explanation"

File picture: Tracey Adams / African News Agency (ANA)

THE LUTZVILLE community on the West Coast is “gutted” over what they say is a light sentence given to a father who sexually assaulted his daughter for eight years, since she was three years old. 

The man was handed a suspended jail sentence of five years, 24 months’ correctional supervision, and 16 months community service at the Vredendal Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for sexually assaulting his daughter over a period of eight years. 

This despite the victim expressing a desire to see her tormentor locked away. 

The father had sexually assaulted his daughter until her mother found out in 2018.

The father is not being named to protect the identity of the victim.

The distraught mother, who hasn’t told her daughter of the court outcome yet, said she was disappointed and hurt. She said they were now living in fear as the perpetrator was still roaming the streets.

“She is going to be very disappointed because she told me and the court that she wanted him to be jailed. She is so afraid of her father. We have a protection order against him which he violated and is still out on bail for,” she said.

Rural and Farmworkers Development director Billy Claasen said the State was failing the community, at a time when the president was calling for harsher sentences for those convicted of sexual crimes.

“The National Prosecuting Authority owes the community of Lutzville an explanation of why the prosecutor in this matter said in court (that) correctional supervision would be an appropriate sentence. The safety of our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and children are left in the hands of people such as this prosecutor. It’s shocking how arrogant prosecutors such as this person are when they prosecute matters in the rural areas,” Claasen said.

The community has written to the Western Cape police commissioner, Yolisa Matakata, and the police minister to “immediately review the sentence”.

They have also appealed to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to look into the deployment of magistrates and prosecutors in rural areas as “most of them are for years in the areas and have become familiar with some people”.