Rape accused brought late to court, set free

2012-08-29 00:00

THE 28-year-old suspect charged with the rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances of a 74-year-old Pietermaritzburg woman at the weekend, was freed yesterday after police failed to bring him to court within 48 hours of his arrest.

However, KZN police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane told The Witness that police plan to re-arrest and charge the man again.

He said at this stage it was not known why the suspect was not taken to court within the prescribed time period, but this would be investigated.

“We know where he [the suspect] stays and we intend to arrest him as soon as possible,” he said.

The law stipulates that accused people must appear in court within 48 hours of being arrested, or their detention is unlawful.

When the suspect made his first court appearance before magistrate Reard Abrahams yesterday, the court noted that he had been arrested at 4.30 pm on Saturday in connection with the case and that the 48-hour period for him to appear expired at the same time on Monday.

Under the circumstances, Abrahams ruled that the accused was incorrectly before court, and struck the case from the roll.

The accused, who is from Willowfountain, was charged with housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances and rape.

According to the charge sheet, he was alleged to have assaulted a 74-year-old woman in her home by striking her and kicking her with booted feet, throttling her and stabbing her with a sharp object. He allegedly raped the victim and robbed her of a sewing machine, a cellphone and R460 in cash.

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