Family support call for no bail

The family of a 24-year-old man accused of raping a former Hexagon High School pupil supports the call by Komani residents for their son to be denied bail.

This follows after a 15-year-old girl was allegedly brutally attacked by the man who had offered to organise transport for her to get home after attending another school’s matric dance. The accused appeared at the Queenstown magistrate’s cCourt on August 26, when he elected to abandon his bail application. Hundreds of disgruntled scholars and Komani locals had marched to the court in support of the victim.

The accused made his third appearance in court on Monday. Pupils and locals including the ANC Women’s League protested outside the court for the accused to be denied bail. Police barricaded the court entrance to mitigate the situation, with court manager Dorinda Oosthuysen indicating that this was a “high profile” case. The case was postponed to October 3 when the accused intends to proceed with a formal bail application.

Speaking to The Rep outside court, Wanda Majikela, an uncle of the accused, said the family feared for their safety if he were granted bail. “We are not here to support him. What he did was unacceptable. I have daughters and I cannot trust him near them any more. We are ashamed of what he did. He has ruined that child’s future. The family visited the victim’s home to apologise for what had happened. People do not understand that we did not send him to do this. I oppose to him getting bail because something could happen at our family home in Ezibeleni. The law must take its course,”said Majikela.

The EMLM ANC gender-based violence co-ordinator Bulelwa Mgijima read out a petition saying: “We are here to say enough is enough. We want our government to get rid of these barbaric sexual molesters. Sexual crimes are barbaric enough to have no other sentence but life. He must rot in jail. Let all men fight against this animal who misrepresents manhood. We call for the death penalty for convicted perpetrators of crime against women and children.”

Acting senior magistrate Xolisa Ngwendu, who received the petition, acknowledged the unity shown by parties involved and pleaded with community members to have confidence in the justice system.

The victim’s mother, who hopes that justice will prevail, said her daughter was making good progress and was coping at her new school. “She is adjusting well and she recently finished writing exams. After today’s proceedings, I am not happy because it seems as if he (the accused) is trying to delay the whole process,” she said.

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