Case against rape accused MP postponed

2012-04-30 20:30
Cape Town - The case against rape accused ANC MP Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane was postponed by the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday.

State prosecutor Shaina Naidoo asked for the postponement so the director of public prosecutions (DPP) could sign an order to prosecute him. She said the regional court had decided to institute proceedings, but needed a decision from the DPP.

Defence lawyer William Booth objected to the request.

"Surely the decision to prosecute or not should have been made some time ago," he said.

He said the matter had been postponed "for the final time" on three occasions, first to find a missing docket, then for investigation and now for a decision.

Inconvenient

The delays in getting the matter to trial were a huge inconvenience for Kholwane as he had to commute between Gauteng and Cape Town, as well as juggle business commitments, Booth said.

He asked for the matter to be struck off the roll until a prosecution decision had been made.

"To keep the matter on the roll... is unfair and costs the accused money," he said.

Kholwane, who wore a brown polo-neck jersey, a jacket and black trousers, appeared calm during proceedings.

He listened attentively as Booth explained that his client and the woman had been in a relationship for a long time.

Booth told Magistrate Marietjie van Eeden that Kholwane did not dispute that the couple had engaged in sexual intercourse "on many occasions", but said every time had been consensual.

Not unduly prejudiced

Van Eeden granted a final postponement for July 30.

"At this stage, I feel the matter has not been on the roll that long. That is one reason I am granting the postponement," she said.

She said the other reason was that Kholwane was not in custody and would therefore not be unduly prejudiced by the delay.

He was out on R500 bail and could move about freely. His only conditions were that he stay out of the Mowbray area and not make contact with the complainant.

He was warned to appear on the stated date or have his bail revoked and an arrest warrant issued.

Kholwane, who is the chairperson of Parliament's communications portfolio committee, stands accused of raping a 26-year-old woman in his Grassy Park home in Cape Town.
Read more on:    anc  |  cape town

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