Over 30 life sentences for paedophile

Government has welcomed the multiple sentences handed down to convicted paedophile, Warren Knoop, on Monday.

The Johannesburg High Court on Monday sentenced him to 32 life sentences and 170 years in prison on 870 charges of rape and possession of child pornography.

Government is pleased with the sentencing which is indicative that the wheels of justice are turning, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Acting Director-General Donald Liphoko said on Monday.

Government also commended the law enforcement agencies and the justice system for their dedicated work in bringing the perpetrator to book.

We will not tolerate such atrocious criminal acts especially against children in our country. We call on parents, communities and children to engage in conversations that promote the rights of children, and educate them on reporting any suspicions of violation of their rights, Liphoko said.

Government has put in place child protection mechanisms such as legislation and international instruments that the country has ratified as a commitment to the protection of children's rights.

Key amongst this is Section 28 of the Constitution, which specifically deals with and lays the foundation of children's rights.

Government has also established the National Child Protection Register to keep a record of cases of abuse and deliberate neglect, convictions and outcomes of the Children's Court.

Other mechanisms include: The Children's Act 38 of 2005; The Sexual Offences Act 32 of 2007; The Child Justice Act; The Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989; The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, 1999.

Last year, President Jacob Zuma also launched the National Dialogues, which will see district municipalities convene dialogues throughout the year.

To echo our President during his address at the launch of the National Dialogues, 'Women and children must be safe and must feel safe at home, in the streets and anywhere in the country', said Liphoko.

He reiterated that combating crime and the scourge of women and child abuse remains a priority.

This as between 2004 and 2014, more than 32 000 cases of child abuse were recorded in the Child Protection Register.

We call on communities to work with their local police station to report any crime. Our children are the future leaders of this country and it is every citizen's duty to protect them. We can and must do more to protect the lives of children.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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