Stiff sentence for child molester

2011-02-15 00:00

THE high court in Pietermaritzburg has imposed two life terms plus 20 years’ imprisonment on an HIV positive man who admitted to sexually violating his two great nieces and a nephew, aged four, six and seven years, in the Mtubatuba area.

The man admitted having anal sex with all three victims, knowing he had tested positive for HIV and knowing that it is a life-threatening illness.

The children so far have tested negative, but will undergo further tests in three months, the court was told.

Imposing the sentences on the 51-year-old man, who cannot be named for the protection of the children, Judge Rishi Seegobin likened him to a predator who preyed on young children.

The judge said the man proved himself not to be worthy of mercy. The court could not detect any genuine remorse on his part and he probably regretted his conduct only because he was arrested.

“I do not consider him to be a useful member of society,” the judge said.

He said what made the crimes even more reprehensible was that they happened in a family setting in which the accused must have felt secure. By virtue of the natural love and respect the victims had for him, intermingled with fear, they could say nothing.

Seegobin said had it not been for the efforts of the mothers the offences would have gone undetected.

The mother of the boy who was sodomised cried throughout her testimony and while sitting in the gallery.

She told the court the elders in her family, including her mother and aunt, wanted the offences to be “kept secret” and the family was divided over the decision taken by her sister and herself to go to the police.

The judge said the abuse had “devastating” effects on the family and on all three children. The most severely affected was the four-year-old girl who had clearly contracted a sexually transmitted disease and is now sick all the time.

The judge said it is the court’s fervent hope that the children as well as their mothers will be able to recover and live normal lives.

He also hoped that the authorities would provide necessary trauma counselling for them to enable them to heal as the evidence revealed they are unable to afford psychological counselling.

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