No bail for alleged rapist

2015-07-04 08:34
The Curry’s Post Road where a woman was raped while jogging. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

The Curry’s Post Road where a woman was raped while jogging. (Jonathan Burton, The Witness)

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A MPOPHOMENI man charged with the rape and aggravated robbery of a 38-year-old jogger in Howick was denied bail yesterday.

The 25-year-old man, who cannot be named until he has formally pleaded to the charges, will be kept in custody until his next court appearance on July 29.

He allegedly dragged a Johannesburg businesswoman off the road and raped her at knifepoint while she was jogging in the KZN Midlands on June 13.

Investigating officer Sergeant Agrippa Mnikathi of the Howick Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) told the magistrate yesterday that the man posed a threat to witnesses if released.

He said witnesses had reported receiving threats from a friend of the accused.

Magistrate Ntsoaki Khakane found, after considering all the evidence, that it was not in the interests of justice to release the accused on bail.

The decision was greeted joyfully by representatives of the ANC Youth League who attended the hearing, but they questioned the court’s inconsistency for granting bail the previous day to a man charged with raping two children.

“We are extremely happy that the man was denied bail. We support the courts decision. However, we are also extremely disappointed that the same decision was not made yesterday [Thursday],” said one of the representatives who did not wish to be named.

The accused in that case, who is charged with raping two young girls in Mpophomeni at knifepoint, was granted bail of R2 000.

The girls, who are in Grade 2 at Sibongo Primary School, were allegedly taken to the man’s house while they were on their way to school.

The Witness was told recently by the mother of one child that the rapist tied up the girls and gagged them, and raped them in turns at knifepoint. Her daughter had not reported the incident for over a week as she was terrified after being threatened. The rape was discovered when the mother took her to a clinic and then to hospital after noticing something was wrong.

The Howick and Mpophomeni community, including members of the Provincial Youth Desk, ANC Women’s League, ANC Youth League, SA Communist Party, supported by the Department of Community Safety and Liaison (DCSL) held placards and picketed peacefully outside the court on Thursday to voice opposition for bail in the case. According to a statement released yesterday by the DCSL the decision to grant the man bail was met with anger and tears.

After the proceedings, emotions ran high and the community attacked and heckled their ward councillor saying he had not been supportive.

Senior manager of uMgungundlovu and Harry Gwala districts in the Department of Community Safety and Liaison, Sabelo Kunene calmed the community.

“We are disappointed by the court’s decision but the accused is still a suspect,” said Kunene, adding rapists should face the full might of the law.

Kunene said the department was disappointed with the decision taken even though the community came out in such huge numbers to picket and oppose bail, backed by the department and government.

“Rape cases that involve little children are concerning to us as government,” said Kunene

Read more on:    howick  |  rape  |  court

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