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Parents sentenced to long-term imprisonment for sexually abusing their children

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By Lungani Mhlongo

The High Court in Johannesburg has sentenced a 43-year-old man from Kempton Park and his 33-year-old wife to an effective life term sentence each behind bars for committing sexual crimes against their three minor children.  

According to evidence presented in court during the trial, the couple began sexually abusing their children from 2017 to 2020. The incidents occurred when the children were under the age of ten years.

The court heard that the parents would blindfold and rape their children, and that they would occasionally order the minors to engage in sexual activity with one another while watching them.

The court also heard that the parents would engage in sex in front of their children and force them to watch. The victims were also forced to watch porn. 

When one of the victims informed her grandmother about the abuse, the police and social workers were called in. Furthermore, the other two children went to visit relatives in the Western Cape in 2018, where they were caught performing sexual acts; when asked about the incident, the children responded that "mom and dad make us do it."

The parents' family members were eventually convinced that something was wrong with the children, which involved their parents. This prompted the family to put pressure on the social workers, and the case was further investigated by the police, resulting in the arrest of both parents on February 8, 2022.

Following their arrest, all three children were placed in the foster care of their parents' cousin. The perpetrators pleaded not guilty to all charges, instead accusing their cousin and his wife of brainwashing the children and forcing them to fabricate the charges, claiming that their family wanted to adopt and remove their children.

Puseletso Mokhosi-Matshaba, a social worker, told that while these incidents are rare, they do occur. According to Mokhosi-Mtshaba, these incidents are becoming more common in South Africa and are having an impact on children's lives.  "We are seeing more of these incidents in our communities, which is extremely unfortunate." 

Mokhsi Mtshaba believes that this will have a negative psychological and emotional impact on children. “The minors were betrayed by their own parents and this will make them to have trust issues in future. An in-depth counselling is needed for these children in order for them to heal and become normal community members,” said the social worker.


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