Monday, March 30, 2009

South African Justice not Enough

A child rapist, Wayne McBean, who raped a girl while she was between the ages of 10-12 years of age received a 15 year sentence suspended for 5 years!

Further, he has to pay R15 000 to the victim in 15 monthly instalments. He also has to do community service at the Krugersdorp police station in the form of plumbing work.

In my post, 16 Days of 'worthless' Activism, I said the following:

"I do not think that the 16DoA is worth the money and effort put into it. The fact is that while we are running programs on TV and publishing articles in magazines and newspapers, abusers keep on abusing! If the government does not start effectively dealing with crime in this country and actually applying the laws on our law books, efforts like the 16DoA are wasted efforts. We might as well go fishing."

Magistrate Petro de Villiers, who was the presiding magistrate over this case, apparently found "substantial and compelling circumstances to depart from the prescribed minimum sentence of life." The ruling of this magistrate, who made her last ruling before retirement, apparently did not see how McBean's actions destroyed a girl's life, and how he violated this young girl to her deepest core! And the fact that the magistrate is a woman scares me!

Her reasons for not sending this child rapist to jail?

"If he was sent to prison, he would not have to endure public humiliation.

"'The accused must face the community for his wrongdoing,' said De Villiers who added she was convinced McBean could be rehabilitated."

She is keeping this animal out of prison so that he could endure public humiliation? The fact is that he will still experience all the privileges of law abiding citizens! Family time, shopping, vacations, whatever! This little girl will never again see her innocence returned to her! She has experienced invasion of the most private kind, and now has to live with it!

How can R15 000 pay for what he did to this little girl? And, how does community service pay back this little girl? He first and foremost committed a most heinous crime against this little girl, NOT the community. However, a service to the community would be to ensure that this person be removed from society in order that no other little girl (or woman) would fall into this man's hands!

One of the most baffling statements by the magistrate is that "the harm could not be undone by lengthy imprisonment." Since when is that a criterion whether a person should be imprisoned or not? With that kind of logic we may as well give murderers suspended sentences since jailing them would not bring back the dead!

In a country with constitutional law, we cannot have magistrates or judges that undermine the law. McBean already had a previous conviction for assault and showed no remorse for his crimes. This is a dead giveaway that this person should pay severely for his crimes. Magistrate De Villiers has weakened the force of the law by her irresponsible judgement in this regard.

May God have mercy on her and McBean. I hope that De Villiers can sleep at night, knowing that McBean is loose on our streets!

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