Child sex accused 'ready to be punished'

2012-10-30 18:21
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Cape Town - A man accused of sexually abusing three girls is ready to accept his punishment, his lawyer told the Parow Regional Court on Tuesday.

During closing arguments Johannes Kleinhans' attorney Johannes Grobler said: "My client is ready to be punished, but only for what he has done wrong, and not the assault, which he denies."

Kleinhans faces 95 counts, involving indecent and sexual assaults on three girls, possession of child pornography, and taking pornographic photographs of the girls.

Kleinhans, 74, who resigned several company directorships as a result of the charges, and who held the post of chief executive, initially pleaded guilty to the charges, before Magistrate Amanda van Leeve.

However, this was changed to not guilty because in his testimony he blamed the girls for his predicament, which amounted to a denial of guilt.

During a pause in proceedings, photographers took pictures of Kleinhans seated in the dock, until he begged court officials to intervene.

Prosecutor Herculine Swart urged the court to find Kleinhans guilty of all counts.

The photographs he allegedly took of the girls were "not only pornographic, but explicit" she said.

Swart described how Kleinhans had groomed his victims, from poverty-stricken families, to regard him as a father figure by giving money, food, and clothing to their parents.

The girls and their families had addressed Kleinhans as "uncle Ian, she said. Kleinhans had abused this relationship, as well as his position of authority.

Swart said Kleinhans had specially converted a house in Parow into a private gymnasium, which only the three girls knew about.

He installed gym equipment in the house and stocked it with condoms, sex toys and alcohol.

"What kind of father would give liquor to young girls in a normal relationship?" she said.

Swart asked the court to accept the girls' testimony as honest and reliable.

It had taken her two years to persuade the traumatised girls to testify, and they had no reason to tell lies about Kleinhans. Kleinhans, on the other hand, had tried to present himself to the court as a good person.

"The accused has admitted [to] many of the charges, but he blames the girls in order to make himself innocent," Swart said.

The court would hand down judgment on 13 November.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse
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