Rape accusation: bail for Howick teacher

2012-03-17 00:00

THE Howick teacher accused of raping a 12-year-old pupil was granted bail of R1 500 yesterday on the grounds that the state has a weak case against him.

The 54-year-old appeared in the Howick Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The defence submitted that the doctor’s examination of the girl, performed on the day the alleged rape took place, showed that no sexual penetration had taken place and that everything “seemed normal”.

Describing the accused as a “mild-mannered family man”, defence counsel Ashika Singh said that in the 30 years that he had been a teacher, he was not the man the state had made him out to be.

“The state would like the court to believe that after 30 years of teaching, the accused would, in broad daylight, do the alleged crime in a place where he would be easily caught.”

She dismissed the prosecution’s contention that the teacher would be in danger if he was released from police custody.

Addressing the gallery, magistrate Mpume Mabaso said the state’s case was weak.

“In my opinion there is no case,” she said, referring to the doctor’s report.

She postponed the case to March 29 for further investigation.

Speaking to The Witness outside the court after the hearing, members of the teacher’s family and the Howick community said they were relieved he had been granted bail.

“We want whoever made up these lies to come forward with the truth because [the accused] is a respected man in the community, and would never do what he has alleged to have done,” one said.

• lunga.biyela@

witness.co.za

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