From page 1Rape suspect appears in court

2016-09-22 06:00
Waterloo residents and members of the ANC Women’s League protest outside the Verulam Magistrate’s Court.  Photo: andile sithole

Waterloo residents and members of the ANC Women’s League protest outside the Verulam Magistrate’s Court. Photo: andile sithole

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However, the state opposed bail and said the accused was a threat to the community.

Magwaza’s lawyer called in a witness, the brother of the accused, Sibusiso Magwaza, in a bid to save the accused from going to jail.

“He [accused] and my grandmother, who is a pensioner, support us. He is the breadwinner at home and I therefore ask the court to grant him bail because he is a first offender. Should the court not grant him bail, a university student who relies on his salary will drop out from school.

“He pays all the educational expenses for a student studying at university of Johannesburg and other children at home. And we would be suffering financially should the court not grant him bail,” he said.

However, the state prosecutor told the court that witness’s statement was contradicting.

“You are wearing a gold chain and expensive jersey, how can you say you would be impoverished if the court does not give the accused bail?”

When the court prosecutor cross-examined the witness, Magwaza sat silently in the dock, folding a blue facecloth and wept. His legal representative told court that the accused has no pending previous convictions and he would not interfere with state witnesses.

Outside court members of the community and ANC Women’s League staged a protest calling on the magistrate not to give the accused bail.

Community leader and member of the ANC in Waterloo Nadia Phiri told the Weekly: “As the leader I mobilised women in the seven wards in Verulam and Tongaat to stage a protest outside court and demand the suspect to be held accountable for his actions.

“We are not pleased to a have a rapist walking free in our community,” she said.

One of the protestors outside court said: “He must rot in jail - people like him must be removed from the community. It is heartbreaking to see women and children weeping in court. We are here to show our support to the family members of the victims and are asking the court not to grant him bail.”

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