Rape case adjourned

THE CASE of a stepfather accused of raping a 9-year old girl 900 times was adjourned at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, August 23. The accused appeared briefly in court.

In a live video stream from court last Thursday, the accused, whose name is withheld to protect the identity of the victim, plead not guilty.

The state is awaiting a psychological report for the victim as well as the cellphone of the accused that was confiscated by the police.

Protesters who previously attended court appearances to appeal to the judge to deny the accused bail were not present at the court on Thursday.

The suspect was arrested in June after the victim told neighbours about the alleged abuse.

It is also alleged that the accused held the victim captive and did not allow her to go to school.

Sex toys and DVDs were found in the suspect’s room when the police searched the residence.

His legal representative, Mondli Mthethwa, told the court that his client was assaulted on the day he was arrested.

Mthethwa also said there was not enough evidence that linked the accused to the crime. However, magistrate Irfaan Khallil refused to grant the accused bail.

In his ruling during a bail hearing last month, Khalil said the accused was a “flight risk and will interfere with the witnesses”.

The man faces charges of rape, sexual grooming, sexual assault, exposure or display of or causing exposure or display of child pornography or pornography to children, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, compelling or causing children to witness sexual acts and child abuse or deliberate neglect of a child.

The case was adjourned until October 10 when a trial date will be set.