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SA businessman who drugged‚ raped daughter’s friends is jailed for life

By Faeza
15 March 2016

justice

Pornographic photos of drugged and raped pre-teen girls have helped shut the prison doors behind a South African businessman who attacked his daughter’s friends.

“Nothing will erase what happened to our children‚ but at least he is out of our lives for good.”

That’s the view of a mother on the 37 life sentences handed down on Monday against the Garden Route businessman who drugged and raped his 12-year-old daughter’s friends. The 51-year-old man‚ who cannot be named to protect the identity of his seven victims‚ was sentenced to a further 10 years behind bars for 30 charges relating to the creation of pornography as he photographed the acts.

The man will only be able to apply for parole after serving 25 years of his term.

“We have to protect the community against you. You are an absolute danger to society‚” Magistrate Eugenia Jacobs said.

One of the victims’ mothers said: “I can’t even begin to describe my gratefulness to Magistrate Jacobs for handing down a sentence that fits the crime.”

“My daughter can only now start the healing process without fear that she will run into him in the future.”

The man was sentenced in George’s Thembalethu Regional Court after entering into a plea bargain earlier this year.

His young victims were between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time and the incidents happened between 2012 and 2014. He was arrested in November 2014 after one of the victims started suspecting something was amiss.

He slipped them sleeping tablets during sleepovers at his home in Denneoord and committed the crimes while the girls’ were unconscious.

The magistrate found the fact that he drugged the children was not to spare them trauma as he claimed‚ but so that he would not be “caught out”.

“They never had the opportunity to defend themselves.”

Jacobs added although the man’s legal team said the fact that he pleaded guilty should be seen as a mitigating factor‚ she believed he had very little choice in the matter as there was overwhelming photo evidence of him committing the crimes.

The man showed no emotion while Jacobs conducted sentencing proceedings‚ while friends and families of the little girls sobbed.

Anti-child abuse group Green Hearts – which has been supporting the victims’ families during court proceedings – said while they preferred a world without sex crimes against children‚ they were “extremely happy” with the outcome of the case.

“Not only does this send out a very strong message to any potential offenders‚ but also protects any future victims‚” spokesperson Yvette Wilschut said.