Friday, 24 August 2012

Landmark ruling today convicts rapist father 21 years after the event

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Daughters' see justice done in KwaZulu-Magistrates Court

Today in a landmark ruling, a father of two women was convicted in the KwaZulu-Natal Magistrate's court of rape and sexual abuse, 21 years after the event. The perpetrator committed the crimes when his daughters were seven and 12 years old. The daughters' decision to press charges against him was made after he announced his engagement to a woman with a young daughter.

"This conviction is a victory for all women who have been victims of rape, abuse and especially incest," said Jo-Ann Downs, Member of the KZN Provincial Legislature and Chairman of the African Christian Democratic Party. "It should serve as a reminder that the law will eventually catch up with perpetrators of sexual crimes."

In a statement earlier this month Downs cited the fact that more women in South Africa have been raped than the number of people killed in the Syrian and Lybian civil wars combined. "This is a shocking testimony to the state of our nation and along with measures to address this systemic problem, more convictions like this one need to be made," Downs said.

South Africa has the highest number of declared rapes in the world, with Interpol reporting that a woman is raped every 17 seconds in South Africa, that one in every two South African women will be raped at some stage during their lifetime and that half of these women are under 18 years old.