Cape Town – Six relatives, including two grandparents, were reportedly sentenced to a combined 16 life terms and 110 years in prison for their involvement in the rape, sexual grooming and sexual assault of minor children who were in their care.
Reports said the relatives were arrested in 2010 on allegations of abusing four of their biological children and two foster children, and of running a child porn ring.
According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, the crimes were committed from 2005 until 2010 when they were arrested, reported TimesLlVE.
“Some of the charges they were convicted of were rape, indecent assault, compelled rape, compelled sexual assault, witness sexual acts, sexual grooming as well as child abuse and neglect.
“This was discovered after the six-year-old foster child was taken for school readiness assessment where she disclosed to the educational psychologist that she was being sexually assaulted by her foster parents. After receiving this information, the psychologist reported the matter to the police,” the report quoted Mahanjana as saying.
ALSO READ | Man, 66, sentenced to 18 years after forcefully ‘marrying and raping’ girl, 13
News24 reported that the two grandparents, who were also foster parents and aged 69 and 70, appeared in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, along with four co-accused, who were also family members.
The report said all the accused pleaded not guilty, but the State was able to provide evidence during the trial that the children had been sexually assaulted by the accused.
“In their victim impact statement, the children told the court that what happened to them had affected and continued to affect them as they now found it hard to trust people and maintain relationships. They further told the court that they still suffered from the trauma caused by the six,” the report quoted Mahanjana as saying.
In aggravation of sentence, state prosecutors Advocate Cornelia Harmzen and Marie Jonker told the court that the six showed no remorse for their actions, reported Algoa FM.
They said that the group betrayed the trust of the minor children aged between four and nine and failed to protect them, the report said.
Magistrate Pieter Nel argued that the accused committed serious offences against their children over a long period [and] such crimes will surely leave a long impact on the victims and therefore, the sentence given was appropriate.
Nel also ordered that the accused be added to the national register for sexual offenders and declared them unfit to possess a firearm.
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe