Shop owner accused of raping family members

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A well-known Victoria Park shop owner accused of raping his daughter and granddaughter was granted R5 000 bail at the Queenstown Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday.

The 60 year-old man, who was arrested on April 24, faces two counts of rape. The complainants are his 40-year-old daughter and 14-year-old granddaughter. The accused appeared on May 8 for a formal bail application when the investigating officer in the case took to the stand to provide further evidence.

The court was told that the rape allegation of the 40-year-old daughter had happened over the years, with the most recent in 2015.

According to the investigating officer, the 14-year-old granddaughter who was living with the accused and his wife, ran away from home after she was allegedly raped. At about 9pm on the day of the incident, the girl had a headache and had requested snuff from her grandfather who was at the shop at the time.

In the statement the victim wrote: “He said he would only give me snuff If I let him insert his penis in my vagina. I refused and told him he was my grandfather. He then told me to undress. I took off my trousers because I was afraid of him.”

In his submission, defence attorney advocate Mark Botha stated that, according to the accused, the allegations made by the daughter were not new. “She had made these allegations some years ago when he had a fight with her about her drug abuse. Furthermore, the allegations of the daughter are that she had been raped and that the last time this took place was five years ago, but she never reported this to the police. Five years ago she was a married adult 35 years old, making it highly unlikely that the father would forcefully rape her. It was indicated by the accused that the granddaughter was also using drugs and after the grandmother put her out of the house she did what her mother had done by saying she was raped by the accused. The investigating officer gave evidence that hints in this direction.”

Botha also submitted that the accused suffered from high blood pressure, and that he was diabetic and asthmatic.

The accused is 60 years old and vulnerable. It is clear, especially in this period, that we face a health crisis of pandemic proportions.”

State prosecutor Mninawe Mhlontlo argued that there was no supporting evidence of the accused’s medical condition, indicating that the state opposed bail and had learned through the investigating officer that the accused had threatened witnesses.

It was also stated in court that the accused’s wife had applied for a protection order against him as he had threatened to kill her and had called her a witch. It was also stated that the accused owned firearms which were kept in a safe in the house.

In her judgement magistrate Jennifer Prins said after she had evaluated the evidence before her, the applicant produced evidence that exceptional circumstances existed. “The court must bear in mind that the applicant is innocent until proven guilty and that the accused should not be kept in custody as a form of punishment. The risks or concerns raised by the state can be amended or controlled. The applicant is therefore granted bail of R5 000. He must not make contact with any of the witnesses or complainants, direct or indirectly. The applicant must report to the nearest police station every Monday and Thursday between 6am and 4pm. It is further ordered that the applicant resides at his sister’s or parents’ house until this case is finalised.”

Prins suggested that a plan be made to remove the firearms from the house. The case was remanded to August 27.

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