The 20-year-old accused of raping a seven-year-old at the Dros restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria, isn’t going down without a fight.
Yesterday, during his appearance at the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court, the man refused to hand over his cellphone to assist the State in their investigation.
His attorney, Riaan du Plessis, said “my instructions from the accused [are] that he does not want to help the State regarding this issue at this stage. At a later [stage] this issue might be considered.”
Du Plessis said that the State would have to make a formal application if it wanted his cellphone, although that was far from the most dramatic action.
It was also placed on record that police assaulted him at the Silverton police station where he had been detained after his arrest.
“[The] accused was forced by police to do push-ups and then he was kicked by police officers and then kicked on the left eye,” Du Plessis claimed.
The accused also claimed that police officers used belts and their open hands to beat him and that people who held him before his arrest at the restaurant, used a broken bottle to stab him.
I think I hear the world’s smallest violin playing in the distance.
Whilst many media outlets have chosen to name the suspect (The Citizen, for example), others have chosen not to, as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Act:
According to section 154(2b) of the Criminal Procedure Act: (b) No person shall at any stage before the appearance of an accused in a court upon any charge referred to in section 153(3) or at any stage after such appearance but before the accused has pleaded to the charge, publish in any manner whatever any information relating to the charge in question.
Section 153(3) refers to criminal proceedings related to sexual offences charges.
The accused has not yet brought a bail application, with the case now postponed until November 1.
According to Times LIVE, the accused’s own family are turning against him:
The state asked for the postponement for further investigation‚ to launch an application to obtain the suspect’s cellphone for “forensic downloading” and outstanding DNA evidence.
“At this stage his grandmother indicated that he [the accused] does have a cellphone and he [the accused] knows where it is‚” state prosecutor Sanet Jacobson said.
…one reason why the accused is not applying for bail is because he was living with his grandmother‚ who has cut ties with him. She is reportedly not willing to provide her home address for his bail application.
A family member of the seven-year-old reported that the girl is recovering:
“She is still a child and she is getting all the support that she needs. She has doctors and paramedics that looked after her and are still taking care of her‚” the family member was quoted as saying.
Outside the courtroom, politicians and protesters gathered – some footage below:
Perhaps the cheapest political point-scoring attempt came from the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), who, after years of standing by party members charged with violence against women, has suddenly grown a conscience.
They have called for convicted rapists to undergo chemical castration, with this from the Daily Maverick:
“The ANCWL is calling for public to discuss and lobby the Parliament to adopt laws that will allow chemical castration or any form of castration of convicted rapists,” announced the ANC Women’s League in a statement on Tuesday issued by president Meokgo Matuba…
Chemical castration does not involve the amputation of any body parts. It relies on drugs to repress the libido. The more traditional form of castration, in which the testicles are removed from a man, is generally referred to as “surgical castration”. The Women’s League indicates that either form is acceptable to them.
The article goes on to dispel the argument that castration works as a deterrent, before ending with the most obvious of questions:
If the ANC Women’s League is serious about taking firm action on rape, it could start by putting pressure on government to continue to roll out specialised sexual offences courts rather than making half-baked populist calls for castration.
And while the League’s particular horror at the ongoing Dros rape case is justified, one has to ask: where was its call for mandatory castration of rapists when Jacob Zuma stood accused in the dock? DM
The simple answer? They were nowhere.
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