A man convicted on three charges of rape has been sentenced to three life terms behind bars.
This and two similar convictions for the rape of young girls means the Hermanus Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Crimes (FCS) Investigations Unit has much to celebrate during Child Protection Week.
The fact that two of the perpetrators were known to their young victims, makes these crimes even more horrific.
In one case a 12-year-old girl was removed from her mother’s care and placed into protective custody after she reported being sexually abused by her stepfather.
The accused (24-years-old at that stage) was arrested on 26 January 2016 in connection with the abuse that reportedly took place between 2014 and 2016. On 23 May the Bredasdorp Regional Court found him guilty of rape and sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment.
In another case a 56-year-old man was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for raping his 15-year-old niece on a farm outside Bredasdorp.
According to a statement the perpetrator, who cannot be identified in order to protect the victim’s identity, requested the victim to help him clean a school bus. He reportedly paid her R20 and then asked her to accompany him to collect fire wood. He then reportedly took her to a secluded spot in the veld where he threatened and raped her.
It is reported that the perpetrator repeated his horrific deeds on another occasion and bribed the teenager with a cellphone and R50 in exchange for her silence.
A project to create awareness about the topic of child abuse gave the young girl the courage to speak out about what happened to her and to report it to the police in August 2017.
The 56-year-old man was convicted on two counts of rape earlier this year and on 9 May he was sentenced to serve 18 years behind bars.
Earlier in May Gert Booysen (45) was found guilty of raping a 14-year-old girl in an informal settlement in the Overberg town and was sentenced to serve life behind bars for each of the three counts of rape.
Documents state that Booysen threatened his young victim with a knife and forced her to perform sexual acts in the early hours of 18 June 2018. He was arrested hours later after the young girl reported the incident and pointed the perpetrator out to the police.
Captain Buks Hanekom, commander of Hermanus FCS Unit, congratulated Warrant Officer Amanda Groenewald for her diligent investigation which led to the convictions.
Hanekom explained that the life sentences were a direct result of brilliant testimony by the young victim and Groenewald’s thorough investigation.
“Groenewald is a committed detective who not only cares about the investigation but the victims too. She is dedicated and always willing to walk the extra mile,” said Hanekom.
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