Man sentenced to two life terms for raping girl he met at safe haven where he did charity work

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Amor Van Grenen.
Amor Van Grenen.
NPA
  • Amor Van Greunen, 51, was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old girl who was raped by an uncle in a separate incident at age 10.
  • The girl stayed with her mother at a safe haven. 
  • Van Greunen and his wife were frequent visitors at the safe haven as they performed charitable deeds there. 

A 51-year-old Port Elizabeth man was handed two life sentences on Tuesday for raping a 15-year-old girl in July 2019. 

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said at the time of the incident the minor lived with her mother and younger brother at a safe haven in Port Elizabeth. 

Amor Van Greunen and his wife were frequent visitors at the safe haven as they performed charitable deeds there, said Ngcakani. 

READ | Truck carrying Covid-19 samples hijacked in Port Elizabeth

"In 2018 Van Greunen and his wife took a liking to the girl and often invited her to their home to spend weekends with them. A daughter and parent relationship was then built between the young girl and the Van Greunens to the point where she even confided in them and disclosed to them that she had been raped by her uncle at the age of 10. They performed various acts of kindness towards her, even bought her clothes."

Ngcakani said the parent-daughter relationship was violated between 26 and 27 July 2019 when Van Greunen fetched the girl at the safe haven for the weekend while his wife was away in Oudtshoorn for a weekend.

"He bought her clothes and alcohol. He encouraged her to drink and told her that it's safer for her to drink in his company than in the company of her friends. After she drank he then raped her twice," said Ngcakani.

The minor reported the incident on 27 July 2019 to her teacher via a WhatsApp message.

Arrested

The teacher came to fetch her and immediately took her to Algoa Park Police station.

Van Greunen was arrested on the same day, said Ngcakani.

Prosecutor Mxolisi Bebula told the court that Van Greunen was in a position of trust as a bond had been established between him, the child and the child's mother and therefore, he abused his power, said Ngcakani. 

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Ngcakani said Bebula added there were no substantial or compelling circumstances which would warrant the court to deviate from the minimal sentence of life imprisonment.  

According to Ngcakani, during sentence proceedings, magistrate Kenneth Cooney said: "You took advantage of her personal circumstances, you took advantage of her as you knew that she craved for the love and affection of a father figure. There was a relationship of trust which had developed between you and the complainant and she found a safe haven in your home. When you raped her all of that was taken away from her," said Cooney.

The magistrate ordered for the two life sentences to run concurrently.  

Eastern Cape acting director of public prosecutions, Livingstone Sakata welcomed the sentence.

"The NPA appreciates the stiff sentence which has been imposed by the magistrate. It sends a strong message that our courts do not tolerate the rape of children. We further appreciate the hard work of the prosecutor for this case and the investigating team."

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