The High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg sentenced a 43-year-old male from Kempton Park to an effective term of life imprisonment, and his 33-year-old wife to an effective term of 25 years imprisonment, for committing sexual crimes against their three minor biological children. This is after Acting Judge Karam convicted the accused on 17 counts of rape, 4 counts of conspiracy to commit a sexual offence, 4 counts of aiding and abetting another person to commit a sexual offence, 3 counts of compelled rape, 2 counts of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, 4 counts of sexual grooming of children, 4 counts of compelling or causing children to witness sexual offences, 2 counts of exposure or display of or causing exposure of children pornography, and 4 counts of sexual assault.
The accused started sexually abusing their children between the period of 2017 to 2020. The complainants were under the age of 10 years when these incidents happened. The accused would blindfold one of the complainants and rape her while the other complainants were in another room. Both accused sexually penetrated the complainants by inserting fingers and toys in their private parts. They sometimes ordered the complainants to have sexual activity with each other. The complainants were forced to watch the two accused perform sexual acts with one another and watch porn videos on the television. The accused threatened to kill the complainants should they ever tell anyone about their wrongdoing.
 At some stage, one of the complainants lived with her paternal grandparents in Nigel. Accused one would visit the complainant and his parents in Nigel. On these visits, he slept in the complainant’s bed and raped her. Her grandmother once witnessed this abuse and confronted the accused, who responded that it was a habit that he could not stop.  The other two complainants went to live with their grandmother in the Western Cape.  When these complainants displayed sexual behaviour towards each other, their grandmother took them to a doctor to be examined.  This led to their disclosure of the abuse.   
After their disclosure, the three youngest complainants were fostered by the accused two’s cousin and his wife.  During this time, the complainants were found playing with each others’ private parts. When confronted, the complainants replied that they learnt it from their parents. A few months later, the complainants fully disclosed to their family what both their parents did to them. The family members then informed a social worker about the involvement of both parents and the matter was further investigated by the police. On 8 February 2022, both accused were arrested.
In court, the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges. They blamed their cousin and his wife for brainwashing the children and forcing them to fabricate the charges, alleging that their family wanted to adopt the complainants.
In arguing for a harsh sentence, Senior State Advocate Rolene Barnard argued that the court needed to send a strong message that will guarantee that justice is served for the young and vulnerable. She further argued that the children’s first consensual intimate experience was robbed from them and that the accused exploited the relationship bond between parents and children.
The NPA welcomes the sentence and applauds Adv. Rolene Barnard and the Investigation Officer, Warrant Officer Grobler, for ensuring that the accused faced the full might of the law.

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