On Thursday six family members were sentenced to a combined 16 life terms and 110-year prison term by the Pretoria north magistrate’s court for ghastly crimes against children. The six consist of a foster couple, aged 70 and 69, along with their four relatives who were collectively The six of nine men and women who are members of a Pretoria north family were arrested in 2010 on allegations of abusing four of their own biological children as well as two foster children, and of running a child porn ring convicted of 20 counts of sexual offences against three minors aged between four and nine.

According to NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana, the offences occurred from 2005 until 2010 when they were arrested. They were tried and convicted for offences against only three children. In relation to the other children, the NPA said they were too young to testify.

They were acquitted of the pornography-related charges in May last year, but convicted of more than a dozen counts of, among others, rape, sexual assault, indecent assault, compelled rape, compelled sexual assault, child abuse, and child neglect.

In his sentence, magistrate Pieter Nel, said the six committed serious offences against their children over a long period. Such crimes will surely leave a long impact on the victims, thus the sentence given. The elderly foster parents were slapped with 12 life terms and 95 years’ imprisonment while two of the relatives, a couple aged 43 and 49, were sentenced to four life terms and 15 years’ direct imprisonment.

The last two, 49 and 39, were given a five-year wholly suspended sentence and three years of correctional supervision. They were not convicted of the same offences as the others. Instead, they were just convicted of child neglect.

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