The Lutzville community on the West Coast is not satisfied with what they say is a “light sentence” given to a father who sexually assaulted his daughter for eight years since she was 3 years old.
IOL’s Mthuthuzeli Ntseku reports, the man in question was handed a suspended jail sentence of five years, 24 months correctional supervision, and 16 months community service at the Vredendal Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
This judgement came even after the victim expressed a deep desire to see her perpetrator locked away.
Her distressed mother said she was disappointed and hurt after the ruling. She said they were now living in fear as the perpetrator was still roaming the streets.
The victim’s mother told IOL, “She is going to be very disappointed because she told me and the court that she wanted him to be jailed. She is so afraid of her father. We have a protection order against him which he violated and is still out on bail for,”
Rural and Farmworkers Development director Billy Claasen reportedly said the state was failing the community, at a time when the president is calling for harsher sentences for those convicted of sexual crimes.
“The National Prosecuting Authority owes the community of Lutzville an explanation as to why the prosecutor in this matter said in court (that) correctional supervision would be an appropriate sentence. The safety of our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and children are left in the hands of people such as this prosecutor. It’s shocking how arrogant prosecutors such as this person are when they prosecute matters in the rural areas,” Claasen said.
The community has allegedly written to the Western Cape Police Commissioner Yolisa Matakata and the police minister to “immediately review the sentence”.
They have also appealed to Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, to look into the deployment of magistrates and prosecutors in rural areas as “most of them are in the areas for years and have become familiar with some people”.