A diabolical father who raped and impregnated his now 13-year-old biological daughter has been sentenced to an effective 30 years in jail.
The man, who may not be identified to protect the identity of the victim, was slapped with the lengthy sentence by Windhoek High Court judge Dinnah Usiku.
The man, now 49 years old, was convicted of raping the victim at least five times during 2017 and 2018, and impregnating her.
The girl underwent an abortion after it was discovered she was pregnant at the age of 11.
According to judge Usiku, apart from the trauma of being raped by the person who is supposed to protect her, the further trauma of going through an abortion at such a tender age must have been agonising for the victim.
“An act of rape immediately causes injury to a victim,” she said. “The offences were committed in a family home by the victim’s biological father, the place a child considered a home, which should at all times equate to safety for minors.
An act of rape and incest at that tender age of 10 makes it much more aggravating. It is a despicable act, perpetrated by a biological father.
It is an act that the victim will have to live with for her entire life. These are all factors that place extreme weight when the court metes out a sentence in this case.”
Usiku further said it is trite that courts must take the interest of society into account.
As such, the most vulnerable members of society being women and children deserve to be protected at all times. “The courts are the upper guardians of all minors. Thus, courts should mete out appropriate sentences against those who commit these heinous crimes against minors,” the judge stressed. According to her, there are no compelling circumstances to divert from the prescribed sentences. With regard to defence counsel Jermaine Muchali’s suggestion that a sentence of 17 years in respect of all counts would be appropriate, the judge said that in her view, it would amount to a travesty of justice. The judge further said the impact of the incidents on the victim were of a traumatic nature, as she appears to have developed agitated behaviour and insomnia. This, the judge said, could be explained as a result of the incidents which occurred, as is the case with children going through trauma. According to the judge, the victim appeared to be traumatised as the person in whom she had built her trust as a father broke the natural bond. “The victim experienced isolation and alienation from her peers at school when she underwent the abortion process. She shows definite signs of trauma, as evidenced by the fact that she still feels insecure, has shame and guilt about what had happened to her”, she stressed. In the circumstances, the judge said, the seriousness of the offences by far outweigh the personal circumstances of the convict, and she sentenced him to 15 years on each count.
It was ordered that the sentences on the three counts are to run concurrently with the sentences on the other two counts, culminating in a sentence of 30 years.