Rape accused still to have a bail hearing dispite multiple court appearances

On a day where the Ingquza Hill Local Municipality was blessed with a visit from the president of South Africa, Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, to officially open a state-of-the-art NHI clinic in the Newtown residential area. In an unfortunate state of events plaguing not only Lusikisiki but the whole country. The residents have been vocal in their protest, pleading with the state's justice system to protect women, children against gender- based violence, rape and murder.

The visit from the county's first citizen offered a rare opportunity for the people of Lusikisiki, especially the women, to shine a light on their plight. In response to those voices, the president took time and visited the home of little girl, who’s case is currently ongoing at the Lusikisiki Magistrate court. While the programme launch of the district coordination model was in progress at eZalu sports grounds. The accused was appearing at court A at the magistrate’s offices for his official bail hearing on accusation of rape.

The community members and activists were in full voice outside the courtroom, going around town mobilising people to spare their time and support the family in their hour of need.

Inside the courtroom the day's work proceeded normally with various cases being heard in front of the magistrate. At 11:50am the accused finally took to the stand with his representative confirming that he will be fully representing the accused going forward, this was after meeting with his client to sort out terms of services. After confirming his services to represent the accused, the representative raised on a point that the court can proceed to set a suitable date for an official application of bail for his client.

The defendant sought an intervention from the judge due to a disagreement with his colleague the prosecutor Mr Mbasane. The magistrate offered both parties an opportunity to discuss this matter further. There was later an agreement based on the availability of all parties concerned. The dates proposed were the 1st and 2nd of October 2019.

After much consultations the magistrate ruled in favour of the initial dates leading to yet another postponement of the court proceeding for this particular case. Ruling: The court is remanded to the 1&2 October 2019 at 08:30am for an official bail application on behalf of the accused. The accused will remain in custody until then.

On the aftermath of the hearing, Councilor Thandazile Mgudu of ward 14 in Ngobozana had a few words to say based on the developments so far. She aired her discontent at the constant rate at which this hearing is being postponed. Now her hope is that on the date of presumption, the actual case could finally proceed ensuring the incarceration of the accused, because according to the councilor, our communities do not need to live amongst people like those who rape children. She also confirmed that the child is indeed alive but is in a bad state and is unable to go back to school at this point. Councilor Mgudu told us about her desire to have government intervention to ensure that the case proceeds rapidly, this stems from her view that these postponements are a ploy to deter people in hope that they might lose interest. She ended by reiterating a call for support and unity from everyone going forward, for people to not lose faith and continue supporting the family.