Alleged child molester’s plea for bail

2013-09-17 00:00

A SENIOR official of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality accused of numerous sex crimes against children, yesterday tried to convince the magistrate that he is not a flight risk because of his business interests.

Investigating officer Lieutenant Mandla Cele in opposing bail, however, countered that the 58-year-old accused, because of his military knowledge, knows where unmapped border crossings are.

Magistrate Piet Coetzer has reserved judgment in the bail application until Thursday, when the accused will again appear in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court.

He handed himself over to Margate police last week and was charged with one count of rape of a nine-year-old, the double rape of a 13-year-old, 10 counts of creating child pornography, possession of child pornography, two counts of sexual assault and intimidation.

The accused, neatly dressed in a black suit, white shirt and tie, told the court he has fixed property in Ramsgate, numerous business interests and is therefore not a flight risk.

“Many people rely on me for income. If I’m granted bail, I will adhere to the court’s conditions,” he said.

His attorney, Larry Seethal, said his client was happy to live with his daughter in Durban and commute daily and he has no reason to interfere with any witnesses.

He became teary at one stage and requested a glass of water.

State prosecutor Muziwodumo Miza said the accused had intimidated the alleged victim and complainant on Friday, when he evaded arrest.

The suspect, however, responded that he had taken them to the shop to buy food and a chocolate for the child, as he usually did. He said he then received a tip-off that he was going to be arrested.

“Someone came up to me at the mall and said ‘you are going to be arrested’ and ‘this woman [complainant] laid a charge against you’,” he told the court.

“I co-operated fully with the police. I handed myself over last Monday. I handed over my cellphone and gave them permission to search my house.”

Investigating officer Cele said they had phoned the accused several times on the Friday in question, but the accused refused to divulge his location. They then traced his cellphone and found him at a mall in Margate.

Cele said the accused should not be granted bail as the charges were for a schedule six offence and there were 16 levelled against the man.

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