Cape Town - Scores of young women protested outside the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Tuesday ahead of a bail application of a man charged with raping a nine-year-old girl.
The 27-year-old man allegedly raped her, then set her alight in bushes along the R300 highway in Delft, Cape Town, a week ago.
The man faced charges of rape, sexual assault, abduction and attempted murder, and the State would oppose bail.
The National Prosecuting Authority said the man could not be identified as he had not yet pleaded.
Around 100 people, mostly women, sang and danced outside the court, blocking one lane of Landros street.
They chanted “no bail” and carried posters stating: “We refuse to be silent about sexual violence” and “having sex with a child is a crime”.
A group of police kept an eye on the peaceful protest.
The crowd later packed the benches of courtroom G for the bail application.
Meanwhile , the medical team treating the girl are satisfied with her progress, the hospital said on Monday.
Red Cross Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Angelique Jordaan said the young girl had been moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit to a general ward and was continuing with the treatment to her burn wounds.
On Monday night, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato held a prayer meeting in Delft which was open to residents and those who wanted to show their support for the girl.
Cape Argus, Sapa