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Cape Town - A Mitchells Plain man accused of kidnapping a five-year-old girl is also alleged to have raped her.
Desmond Wolmarans, 58, appeared in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the kidnapping of the Tafelsig girl.
When the child did not return home last Wednesday, residents began searching for her. She was found alive, allegedly in Wolmarans’s house, last Friday morning. Wolmarans was not at home, but was found and arrested on Saturday.
For the first time on Monday, the court heard that Wolmarans was facing a charge of rape as well as kidnapping. As a result the girl cannot be named.
Prosecutor Togieda Sambo told the court that the State needed time to investigate whether Wolmarans had previous convictions, pending cases or outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Once his criminal profile had been established the State would decide whether to oppose bail.
A group of residents who helped search for the girl last week were at court to voice their opposition to Wolmarans’s release. They brandished posters that read: “Release him and we will make hell for him in Mitchell’s Plain”, “Keep ourcommunity safe” and “We want justice to be served”.
One of them, Megan Kayster, said residents were very happy that the child had been found “unharmed”.
“We are here (at court) because we don’t want him to come out. He helped search for her and drank coffee with us that day,” Kayster said.
She also thanked the more than 200 friends, family and Bambanani volunteers who had helped look for the girl.
Wolmarans, who has a state-funded Legal Aid lawyer, is due back in court next Monday.