Man accused of raping domestic worker denied bail

2018-03-22 19:00
SA prison. (Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times)

SA prison. (Jackie Clausen, Gallo Images, Sunday Times)

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Pretoria – There were shouts of jubilation from a packed public gallery as a 45-year-old man, who allegedly raped his domestic worker and forced her to perform sexual acts with his dogs, was denied bail in the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

People in the gallery held up placards as Magistrate David Shikwambane dismissed the accused's bail application. The suspect cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim.

Shikwambane said that the accused was unsuccessful in proving that it was in the interest of justice for him to be released on bail.

He added that the peace and security of the public would be undermined if he was released.

During closing arguments, the accused's lawyer, Ehleketani Maluleke questioned the sincerity of the outcry from those present in court as, he said, they were wearing regalia linked to political parties and were likely just there to canvass votes as the general elections were around the corner.

"They know the media is here, so they are wearing their political shirts canvassing for votes," said Maluleke.

A community coming together

She added that the State had a weak case and that the victim could be hiding something as she did not tell police that she was in a relationship with the accused.

Prosecutor Solly Leballo rubbished the defence's arguments, saying those present were community members who attended court proceedings because of their interest in the allegations that make up the case and who were there to see justice done.
In his judgment, Shikwambane said there was an element of public interest and noted that the gallery was always full, no matter the weather.

He said he didn't see political affiliations but rather, a community coming together.

Previously the court heard that the accused's DNA had been found in the victim's vagina and that the victim's genitals were bruised and she had an open wound on her right thigh.

Standing in for the investigating officer, Captain Shane Van Rooyen said police were still awaiting the dogs' DNA test results.

Victim helped to escape by accused's father

The court heard that the victim was an employee of the accused's parents and that, during the day on October 23, 2017, the accused had refused to allow the victim to leave the premises and had "kept her in his room where he raped her at different times".

"The victim says she was raped five times," said Van Rooyen.

READ: Accused's DNA in domestic worker rape case tests positive

He added that the accused had allowed the dogs into his room, where he allegedly forced her to perform oral sex on them and to have intercourse with them.

Van Rooyen further testified that the victim only managed to escape in the early hours of the morning on October 24.

"The victim used something to spray the accused's person and [she] escaped wearing only a towel."

He said she was helped out of the house by the accused's father. She then ran to a neighbour's house where the accused's mother dropped off her clothes.

Sex 'consensual'

Maluleke, reading an affidavit by the accused, stated that the accused and the domestic worker were in a relationship and that the sex was consensual.

"It was not the first time we had sex," Maluleke read from the affidavit.

She also read an affidavit from a witness for the defence, which stated that the victim and the accused had been in a relationship and that she would often "chill and drink with them" at a tavern in Bronkhorstspruit.

However, the State questioned that if the sex was consensual, then why were there injuries? And why did the victim try to escape while screaming?

The court also heard that the victim was married and living with her husband.

Maluleke also told the court that the accused had previously been married, but that his wife had died in 2005.

Fit to stand trial

Before the bail application commenced, the accused brought an application to be admitted to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria for mental observation.

The accused's father testified that his son had always been mentally unstable.

READ: My son is unstable, says father of son accused of domestic worker rape, sex acts with dogs

"One moment he would be fine, the next he would be angry, swearing, shouting, fighting and breaking things.

"In mid-1993, he got so bad... he got angrier and more violent, that we took him to the district surgeon in Potchefstroom to have him observed because of his unacceptable behaviour.

"They sent him to Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital in Krugersdorp. He was there for two weeks, where they diagnosed him as mentally... [challenged]."

The application was dismissed after a psychiatrist observed the accused for seven days and found that he was fit to stand trial.

The accused has been charged with 10 counts, including five of rape, three of sexual assault and one of kidnapping.

The matter has been postponed to April 24 for the dogs' outstanding DNA test results.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  sexual assault

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