Former Soweto scholar patrol guard acquitted on rape, sexual assault charges

2018-12-12 13:02

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A former scholar patrol guard who was accused of abusing young girls, aged between five and 13, at a Soweto primary school last year has been acquitted on all counts. 

58-year-old Johannes Molefe was facing three counts of rape and 11 of sexual assault.

Acting Judge Peet Johnson handed down judgment in the High court in Johannesburg sitting in Palm Ridge Magistrates Court. 

"I have considered the evidence of state and accused as a whole. Suspicion that someone has done something is not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. 

"The court is not satisfied that the state has proved its case," he said. 

Johnson questioned the police and the state's investigation. He viewed it as "unsatisfactory". 

The acting judge also questioned the credibility of several witnesses because of contradictions in their testimonies and statements. 

Johnson also said the court must mention that there were numerous errors made during the course of the trial

EWN reported that various people, including some of the victims who were allegedly sexually abused, had testified over the past few weeks. 

ALSO READ: Soweto school guard accused of sexual assault hears girls are traumatised

One child told the court that she had developed a bladder infection after she was raped, allegedly by the former school guard.

Several witnesses also claimed that the school had asked them to keep quiet about the abuse.

On Monday, IOL reported that Molefe's lawyer Lumka Qoqo had asked in her closing statements how it was possible that Molefe could have touched the children during school hours when there were other staff present. 

Qoqo said that all 13 complainants, except for one, had not remembered the dates of the alleged abuses. Qoqo said that most of the girls had contradicted themselves on the stand concerning the statements they had given to police last year, which, she said was a sign of coaching.

READ MORE: Soweto school guard accused of sexual assault 'seemed like an angel'

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  courts
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