Anger over bail for ‘rapist’

2015-07-22 06:00
 
PHOTO:SIM MDLEDLE

PHOTO:SIM MDLEDLE

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THE teachers of a girl (12) who was allegedly raped by a 70-year-old man are angry at the decision of the Qumbu Magistrate’s Court to let him out on bail of R1 000.

The man, who cannot be identified until he has pleaded to the charges against him, was arrested six weeks after the family identified him to the police as the suspect.

“First it was the delay of his arrest and now he is getting bail of only R1 000,” said a teacher at the girl’s school.

“It seems as if the suspect is getting special treatment,” said the teacher, who cannot be named, to protect the identity of the girl.

“Even when he first appeared before court, he was full of confidence and he was carrying a black bag. How did he get the bag while he was in custody? What was inside that bag? We believe he is getting special treatment from the justice system while the child is suffering trauma. I don’t understand why bail was set at R1 000 in a serious case like the rape of an underaged girl,” she stressed.

Express has learnt that the victim recently underwent an operation following the rape. Her father also said her alleged rapist was getting special treatment.

“Even if he is not punished by the courts of this land, I will pray to God that he is punished in the hereafter,” the father said with tears flowing down his cheeks.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said bail was not a verdict on a suspect’s guilt or innocence. “It is there to assure that the accused person does not evade his or her trial.”

He said many factors were considered before bail was set.

“I don’t want to go into details in this matter, but when I look at the age of the man and if he is a pensioner, R1 000 is a suitable amount or can even be too much for him.”

The case will continue in the Qumbu Magistrate’s Court on September 04.

– SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE

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