Three video rape accused denied bail in Ramsgate

2012-07-24 00:00

THREE men who allegedly raped a schoolgirl and circulated video footage of the attack were denied bail in the Ramsgate Magistrate’s Court last Friday.

Although the incident took place in December, the 17-year-old girl kept quiet about it after she was allegedly threatened by the men.

Her alleged attackers, aged 18, 19 and 24, have yet to plead and cannot be named until they do so.

The girl’s identity is protected by law.

All four accused live in the same area on the South Coast. The Witness is withholding the exact location to protect the child.

The incident allegedly happened towards the end of the 2011 school year, but only came to light in March.

Police were called to the girl’s school after teachers were shown the footage.

She was allegedly raped on her way from school and is seen on the video in her uniform.

The investigating officer told the court the oldest accused was seen raping the victim, while his alleged 19-year-old accomplice held her legs apart.

The two were arrested and identified the youngest of the three as the one who had captured the rape on video.

The girl is receiving counselling.

In denying bail, magistrate Elise Coetzer said the men showed no exceptional circumstances for bail, reminding them that the allegations were serious and related to a schedule six offence.

The case was postponed to August 6 for a regional court hearing.

In March, four South Coast teenagers and a 21-year-old man were charged with the gang rape of a schoolmate. The attack was also filmed and circulated to fellow pupils.

Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said a trial date was yet to be set.

The four minors are back at school.

At the time, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson ­Mthunzi Mhaga said the incident was yet another in an “unabating trend” in the past two years.

Mhaga said the NPA had embarked on an educational campaign to warn children about contravening the Sexual Offences Act.

He warned that the NPA “intends to become very serious with its prosecutions”.

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