A 37-year-old man has been sentenced to five years direct imprisonment after he admitted to raping and impregnating his 14-year-old daughter.
The man, who cannot be identified, proposed that he serve a non-custodial sentence.
Magistrate Toboshe, at the Mitchells Plain Regional Court, wasn’t satisfied with the man’s plea and sentenced him to five years behind bars and deemed him unfit to possess a firearm.
He said in his findings that the step-father had been in a position of trust which he had broken and that the man’s name would be added to the National Sexual Offender’s Register.
The State had also rejected a Section 105 agreement, a plea agreement by the man and his legal representative.The man had pleaded guilty to a charge of statutory rape after he was arrested in 2019.
The teenager’s mother made the discovery about the pregnancy after the young girl began gaining weight. The family took the teenager to a doctor after becoming concerned about her health and discovered she was in fact pregnant.
The man had been released on a warning at the time of his arrest. He was ordered to return for his court appearances. DNA tests had revealed that the step-father was in fact the father of the baby.
During sentencing proceedings, a probation officer for the Department of Correctional Services, Kapolo Busiswe, took to the witness stand where she testified that the step-father claimed he was in a relationship with the young girl. He had omitted to mention that this was the daughter of his wife.
The officer called on the courts to consider a sentence behind bars which would expose the accused to rehabilitation and recreation and psychology programmes.
There was not a dry eye inside the court when State prosecutor Graham Ferguson read out the victim impact statement.
The teen’s mother wept loudly inside court as the words were read out. The victim is now 17 years of age and her son is three years’ old. She detailed in her statement how she had trusted her step-father and how he had disappointed her and her family.
The teenager explained how embarrassed she was and how humiliated she felt and was forced to drop out of school. “After all this time that passed, I am not the same person,” read Ferguson from the statement. “I feel left out because I cannot relate (to my peers) and it is for that reason that I had to leave school. “My classmates knew what happened and people treated me differently. “At times, I feel lonely, sometimes thinking of the things I did and it disgusted me. I wish I could go back. “My mother was the only one who had my back. He was supposed to be a father to me and he used to be the better daddy. “Why did he let this happen? I feel so angry.
He used to make it better and made empty promises. “I lost friends, I lost family. “I know that I will prove them wrong; I will make it.”
The Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum commended the judicial team for the efforts: “We thank the magistrate and we acknowledge the community and the prosecutor and we express our deepest gratitude to the correctional officer who truly stood her ground and stood firm. “We trust that she will continue to do her work and serve both parties equally.”