Principal’s friends turn violent

2012-11-13 00:00

THERE was high drama in the South Coast town of Scottsburgh yesterday morning when a school principal who is accused of rape, made his second appearance in the Scottsburgh Magistrate’s Court.

The 44-year-old principal was remanded in custody and will appear in court again on November 27, when he is expected to apply for bail.

Outside court, friends and relatives of the principal nearly came to blows with members of the eMahlongwa community. The primary school, of which the man is principal is in eMahlongwa. One of his alleged victims also lives there.

An aggressive crowd of about 30 knobkerrie-wielding people came to support the principal.

The situation became heated when they manhandled eMahlongwa councillor Ntokozo Maphumulo, asking why he had mobilised the community.

A water bottle was thrown at an SABC cameraman by the principal’s supporters, who did not want him to film the confrontation.

They later slapped and roughed up the investigating officer, after she tried to intervene when they tried to break the cameraman’s tripod.

Police stationed next to the court only acted when the officer was slapped.

They gave chase with blue lights flashing to apprehend those who had assaulted the officer.

It is not clear at this stage how many people were arrested and what the charges against them were.

An eMahlongwa induna, who identified himself as Majola, voiced disappointment at the lack of a police presence, despite matters getting out of hand.

“It means people can die with police hiding indoors,” said Majola.

Constable Gwen Msomi, communications officer at eMahlongwa police station, said she had warned the Scottsburgh police station that a huge crowd would attend the case.

The principal was arrested last Monday on eight charges of rape and molestation of teenage girls.

He appeared in court briefly yesterday with his newly appointed lawyer representing him.

When he appeared in court last Thursday, Magistrate Christiaan Schoe­man had asked him not to plead, but to appoint a lawyer first.

The principal will be held at Umzinto prison until his next court appearance, when he is expected to plead to the charges against him. He is also expected to launch a bail application at that stage.

Court papers reveal he faces eight charges of rape and molestation of teenage girls from 2010 to September 2012.

It is alleged he lured the girls to his office on the pretext that he needed them to clean it, and then attacked them. Two girls were also allegedly taken to Durban and raped.

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