A Mpumalanga man, 44, has been handed two life sentences after he was found guilty of repeatedly raping his two minor daughters.
His wife, who was found to have been aware of the rapes but failed to report her husband to the police, was sentenced to five years.
The sentences were handed down at the Carolina Regional Court on Monday.
Brigadier Leonard Hlathi of the Mpumalanga Police said the rapes took place at their Carolina home between August 6 and 22 in 2017.
“During the time when this was happening, the children’s mother chose to remain mum while her children endured this barbaric act of violation.,” Hlathi said.
Hlathi said the children were subjected to severe trauma for a long period and the matter only surfaced when their school work started suffering.
“One of the children’s teacher became concerned after noticing a sharp drop in her school performance. When asked, the girl related her story to the teacher and also pointed out that her sister too, had suffered a similar experience. The matter was immediately brought under the attention of the police whereupon charges were laid.
“The police conducted their investigation, meanwhile the children were taken to a place of safety by social workers. Both parents were arrested on August 22 in 2017.”
After the lengthy trial, the father was handed two life sentences while the mother was handed a five-year sentence.
During the sentencing, Magistrate Ricardo Cloete reminded the man what a father was supposed to mean to his children.
Cloete told him a father was supposed to protect his children against harm but, instead, he was the one who caused the harm he was to protect his children from.
Cloete criticised the mother too, telling her she was supposed to have protected her children by reporting the matter to the police but opted to keep quiet.
Mpumalanga Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma indicated the sentence would serve as a deterrence especially during this time when Gender-Based-Violence had become a pandemic in the country.