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2018-06-28 06:00

TENSIONS ran high outside the Verulam Magistrate’s court in a case where a 10-year old child was allegedly raped by her stepfather.

Angry residents wanted answers from the SAPS as to how the suspect had allegedly escaped from Osindisweni Hospital.

The suspect was re-arrested in Phoenix, however, police could not comment on how the suspect escaped from hospital.

Outside court protesters carrying posters with messages such as “Real men do not rape”, called for the accused to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Supporters of different political parties and a lobby group Men Against Rape also picketed outside court demanding no bail be granted for the suspect.

The matter moved from the old court to the family court across the road. The angry protesters were denied access inside court.

The magistrate Irfaan Khalil allowed all the proceedings to be televised and photographs to be taken inside court due to the case being a matter of public interest.

The 43-year old suspect, who was in visible pain, could barely walk and talk when he entered the box.

He is charged with rape, sexual grooming of children, sexual assault, and exposure or display of or causing exposure or display of child pornography or pornography to children.

His Legal Aid SA lawyer Mustaqeem Ameer told the court that the suspect suffered fractured ribs, bruises to his forehead and his body when hen was assaulted.

The magistrate said rape should be treated as a most serious case and the accused must produce evidence in court explaining in detail as why he should be granted bail.

Magistrate Khalil needed a medical report stating the seriousness of the injuries the suspect sustained.

The court also heard that the suspect is on medication “that requires special attention”.

It’s alleged that the suspect held the victim captive over a prolonged period of time, raping her, after the death of her mother.

It is alleged that when the mother died the child was kept in the care of her stepfather.

It is also alleged that the family moved from Johannesburg to Durban where the suspect allegedly continued raping the victim.

Residents claimed that the child was prevented from attending school.

One of the neighbours said they became suspicious of the man’s activities after they heard the child crying on Sunday night, June 10.

“The neighbour asked the girl what was going on. She initially refused to tell her story, but when she was asked further she told the neighbour that her stepfather had been molesting her for the past five years.

“The community waited for him to come back from work and asked him. He was forced to open the room and the community found pornographic DVDs, sex toys and other sex images.”

The angry mob assaulted him before he was taken by Reaction Unit South Africa to the Verulam SAPS.

A resident Sunny Moodley said: “I am here to stand on behalf of a child for what the stepfather did to her. We are totally angry with the SAPS because they never do a good job because they had to leave him at the hospital without handcuffing the man and he [suspect] escaped.

“We praised Reaction Unit for doing a job well done. We would like that the man rot in jail with no bail.”

Lorraine Govender from the Men Against Rape organisation said: “The attacks on women and children seem to become more brutal and fatal, yet nothing is done to stem the tide of these heinous atrocities against the vulnerable victims.

“We hope that the justice system does not fail her. Although due process should be followed in the court of law the punishment meted out to this individual should fit the crime perpetuated against this child,” Govender said.

ANC leader in the area Patrick Phembela said: “We want to show our support to the family of the child who was raped. We want justice to be served,” Phembela said.

IFP member Ntombifuthi Gumede said: “We are concerned about the child who was raped. We cannot ignore the fact that rape incidents are still happening in our communities. We are therefore asking the government to reconsider the justice system in South Africa. Children are always the victims of this crime,” Gumede said.

DA councillors Chris Langa and Dolly Munien visited the the suspect’s house on June 13.

The case was adjourned until June 25 and the suspect will be remanded in the police cells until his next court appearance.

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