Courts should send strong message against child abuse

By Safiyia Stanfley, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Gender, Youth and Persons with Disabilities:

The Democratic Alliance notes the sentencing of Rudolf Coetzee today.

Mr. Coetzee plead guilty to more than forty charges, including three charges of rape against minor children and numerous counts of manufacturing and distributing child pornography.

We welcome the fact that Mr. Coetzee will be removed from the community and will be serving a jail sentence of 24 years. The sentence could have been more severe, given the multitude of crimes that Mr. Coetzee committed. His victims were innocent children who were raped, abused and preyed on. The seriousness of the crimes cannot be overstated.

Mr. Coetzee did accept responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to his crimes. This does not mean that he can get a free pass.

The Democratic Alliance has confidence in the judiciary and the legal system. We are happy that the perpetrator was brought to book for his crimes. We call on the courts in general to send a strong message against any abuse of any child. We need courts to show that there will be punishment for any predator.