‘Litsha sex pest in court

2016-09-08 06:00
Ntombekhaya Mpashu–Skondo (left), and Reverend Hamilton Mbekwa and other concerned residents outside Khayelitsha Magistrate’ s Court, on Tuesday.

Ntombekhaya Mpashu–Skondo (left), and Reverend Hamilton Mbekwa and other concerned residents outside Khayelitsha Magistrate’ s Court, on Tuesday.

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A 50 year old spaza shop owner from Kuyasa in Khayelitsha appeared Magistrate’s court on Tuesday and Wednesday on charges of sexual assault on minor children.

According to the charge sheet, the case involves the sexual abuse and assault of more than 13 minors in his street.

Regarded as a benevolent, respectable person and a church goer, “Nzalwane” as he is fondly known in his area, will again appear in court on Monday September 12 for his bail application. He hasn’t been asked to plead yet.

The news of the alleged sexual assaults surfaced after a 9 year old alleged victim, broke her silence in August.

The suspect first faced 20 counts of sexual assaults and rape, but the other 15 charges were provissionally withdrawn as there was a lapse in the investigation.

Magistrate Xolani Menyiwe said the state might make an application for an amendment o charge sheet, which will see other charges being reinstated.

Menyiwe said the accused is facing schedule 6 offences, which are very serious charges.

In a dramatic turn of events, the suspect made three appearances in court on Tuesday.

His first appearance was adjoined after it was revealed that his lawyer had withdrawn his services after the client had failed to pay hi.

His second appearance was adjourned after the magistrates noticed that “he was off balance” and that he was not feeling fine.

The suspect held on to the wall as he was walking to the stands, shaking, with sweat flowing from his face, which he wiped off with toilet tissue.

His new defence lawyer said his client was “feeling dizzy.”

The lawyer then submitted an affidavit asking for him not to testify and not to apply for bail on the day.

Menyiwe said he suspected that the loss of balance might have been caused by “being under pressure.”

The magistrates then gave him about two hours to regain his strength and to appear for the third time on the day to testify and apply for bail.

The lawyer was successful on his application to postpone the case for Wednesday where he was due to testify under oath and apply for bail.

The 27 year old aunt of one of the girls who broke the news of the alleged rapes, said the family was devastated as they trusted the suspect.

“She (alleged victim) told me that she was tired of what he (suspect) was doing to her and her friends. I asked her what did he do to them and she said he touches them on their private parts. We then asked all the children if it was true, they also agreed that he sexually assaulted them too. There were 13 children at first and the others came out later which made their total to 20,” she said.

Another parent said they were aware that the children loved to visit the man, who has a tuck shop, and that he normally gave them sweets and chips.

“He is a formal and trustworthy person. He loves going to church. We did not suspect anything wrong with children visiting him.”

A 36 year old father said his 11 year old boy and his 10 year old nephew were also victims.

“My son and nephew suddenly refused to go to the shop.. but we did not suspect anything. He is now going to undergo an operation. I am badly affected, because someone I saw as a role model is behind this. I am trying to contain my anger,” he said.

Members of the ANC Women’s League protested outside court on Tuesday, while the ANC Youth League released a statement in support of families of the victims.

In the statement, the youth league condemned the actions of a previous investigation officer in the case, blaming him for the delays in the case and for ignoring “many of the counts which were eventually added by the new investigating officer.”

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