The man convicted of the rape and murder of Michaela Williams will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was sentenced at the Western Cape High Court today.
Steven Fortune was given three life sentences and seven years for two counts of rape, murder and kidnapping the 12-year-old girl.
Before the sentencing, Judge Robert Henney told the court that Fortune is the most evil individual he has come across.
“I don’t have the right words, he is a blatant evil monster, in all my 30 years as a judicial officer, this is one of the most evil individuals I have come across… He is a danger to society and the society must be protected from you.”
The 49-year-old was found guilty in December after he confessed via his attorney Advocate A. De Jongh, that on 7 January 2020, he lured Michaela away from where she was playing in front of her New Horizon home.
He said there was a commotion involving the police and he seized this opportunity to make his move: “I saw her play outside and I told her I was going to buy her a birthday present and she didn’t say anything to me.
“When I spoke to her, I had already decided to rape and kill her.
“I went to the deceased and told her I’m going to buy chocolate and cake, but she had to come with me.
“We walked together until we reached 9th Avenue. We were about to cross the road.
“When the deceased did not want to walk any further, I grabbed her by the hand as she wanted to run away.”
He took her to a vacant plot in Schaapkraal and the child bravely fought back, hitting Fortune in the face until his nose bled.
He confessed that he choked her until she fainted and tied her hands with her own vest before repeatedly raping her in the vagina and anus.
Michaela regained consciousness and started to scream.
Fortune said he then took off the girl’s skirt and strangled her with it.
“When I was done, I threw two concrete blocks onto her head, then I took a blanket and tree branches and covered her body and then I left the scene,” he added.
He said he killed her because she would have recognised him had she survived.
When he went back to the community, he found out that Michaela’s mom Beatrice Adams was looking for her daughter and he helped with the search.
However, after being questioned by police, he told cops where he had dumped her body and he was arrested.
Mom Beatrice, who was sitting in court holding a placard with her daughter’s picture, smiled in court for the first time upon hearing his sentence.
As the judge handed down the sentence, the gallery burst into applause while Fortune remained emotionless.
Speaking to the Daily Voice outside court, she said: “I thought it would just be one life sentence, I’m happy that he got three, and that justice has been served today.
“Now I can rest and smile again, there is one less criminal off the street, our children can walk the streets again, we are going to try our best to prevent more cases like this.”
Ahead of his sentencing, a doctor at Valkenberg hospital told the court that Fortune had confessed to raping nine other girls while he was on parole between 2017 and 2020.
He had been released on parole for the rape and attempted murder of an eight-year-old victim.
A few minutes ago Judge Henney sentenced child killer and rapist Steven Fortune to two life sentences for the rape and murder of Michaela Williams and seven years for her kidnapping. @DailyVoiceSA— MXhosakazi 👑 (@MandieTshwete) June 14, 2021