Mbombela – An Mpumalanga man who raped his two stepdaughters while their mother was at work was sentenced to life in imprisonment by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Tuesday.
The man, 39, from Pienaar near Mbombela, who may not be named to protect the identity of the girls, was found guilty last Friday on two counts of rape, a Sapa correspondent reported.
The girls were aged five and 13 at the time the crimes were committed.
During arguments in mitigation of sentencing on Tuesday, the accused fired his attorney, stating there was nothing linking him to the rapes.
“I don’t want this lawyer to represent me any further. I ask for an appeal against this conviction,” he told the court.
Magistrate Willie Wilkins told the accused he would only grant him leave to appeal the conviction after he had passed sentence.
“As the victims’ stepfather, you were supposed to protect them, but you turned against them and raped them. You showed no remorse after what you have done to the girls.
“What is more serious is that you raped the girls not once, but several times when their mother was not present. I find no substantial and compelling circumstances for a lesser sentence,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins said rape cases involving stepfathers and grandfathers were prevalent.
“Not one month passes without one. On both count one and two, you are sentenced to life imprisonment. You are regarded not fit to work where children are involved. Your name will be entered in the national register for sexual offenders.”
Wilkins granted him leave to appeal against the conviction.