By Khuthala Nandipha
The bail hearing of a 37-year old Mdantsane man accused of raping his landlord’s 10-year-old daughter on December 16, 2019, was postponed for the second time since the incident owing to faulty court recording equipment. The Zone 1 Mdantsane Magistrate court was packed and abuzz on Monday when Zone 8 residents marched to the court to demand a speedy conclusion and no bail for the accused.
According to a source inside the court, the accused who works for a local firm, in his bail application filed that he needs to go back to work. He also assured that he will be moving to Amalinda when work resumes so the locals do not have to worry about his presence in the neighbourhood. The first bail hearing was postponed while the Magistrate wanted to check the matter of the Amalinda address and due to equipment failure. “How will moving to Amalinda help, what if he abuses another child while out on bail. We have seen this happen a numerous time,” said a source.
A family member who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child detailed that the accused bribed the child in order to sleep with her. On different occasions, he bought her food and paid her R220. On the day, the father of the child had been enjoying the day with the accused when he decided to retire early.
The victim's father said, “we have come here before and there was the same problem with the equipment. We only want justice for our daughter.”
“This is frustrating. Crimes against children are a priority of the police, more especially sexual offenses on helpless and innocent girls. We will use whatever we have at our disposal to ensure that sex offenders get what they deserve,” said Mdantsane cluster commander Major General Henry Vos.
The case has been postponed to January 28, 2020.
The national Department of Justice was unable to explain the delays in fixing the equipment at the time of going to press, as it is their responsibility to ensure that the courts have the functional infrastructure.