The wife of a prominent ANC politician (48) and the mother of eight-year-old twins that the politician and his stepson (26) allegedly raped do not believe that the children were violated, the Nelspruit Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday.
The politician, a former MEC and MP, and his stepson appeared in court to apply for bail.
They will, however, stay in detention for another week because Magistrate Suzan Monaledi will only issue a verdict on their application next week Wednesday.
Mpumalanga police arrested the duo on September 28 and they have been fighting to get bail since.
Investigating officer Sergeant Solomon Mbokodo told the court that the girls’ mother, who lives in Cape Town, and their stepmother did not believe the girls’ story and that was the reason he did not try to interview more family members.
“The children said the perpetrator is their father and their stepbrother but when we interviewed the mother and stepmother they said they don’t believe them. It is common knowledge that if your biological mother does not trust you, no one will,” Mbokodo said. He also indicated that the mother threatened to sue social workers after the girls were taken to a place of safety.
The duo’s lawyer, Advocate Mduduzi Nkosi, told the court that the mother did not have money to travel to Nelspruit and she got the money from the politician’s wife, who sent it via e-wallet.
Nkosi also told the court that the case was “politically-motivated”.
“There’s more to this case than meets the eye. There’s influence in this case that may be politically-driven. Just look at the fact that the media was aware before the [bail] applicants were arrested, and suddenly the ANC releases a statement naming the applicant before even seeking legal advice to find out if it was correct to do so or not,” Nkosi said.
Last week Mpumalanga ANC acting secretary, Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, named the politician in a scathing statement and conducted TV interviews. Ntshalintshali also announced that the accused’s membership had been suspended.
However, prosecutor Advocate Catherine Mnisi, quashed any insinuation that there was collusion against the politician.
“Instead of us colluding, it must be the mother and stepmother because they are sending each other money,” Mnisi said.
Nkosi argued that the politician should be given bail because he had properties in Matsulu, Steiltes suburb in Mbombela and White River worth about R14.4 million, and that he was running a non-governmental organisation that paid fees for hundreds of tertiary students, fed orphans and the elderly.
He also argued that the politician had a chronic illness, which he was not sure would be managed properly in detention.
The stepmother, mother and the two men have been interdicted from contacting the girls who are in a place of safety.
The court heard that there was no DNA results linking the two men to the rape.
Mbokodo said that he had applied for an order to obtain the girls’ medical records from the family doctor.
Outside the court a group of people, some wearing ANC regalia, spent the day chanting in support of the politician.
But another group, clad in EFF regalia, also chanted against the granting of bail.