A man accused of raping a six-year-old girl in 2006 wants to cross-examine her during his trial, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Wednesday.
Gerald Rosselloty, who is also accused of murdering his lover in 2010, is defending himself, claiming his state-appointed counsel was incompetent and did not follow his instructions.
He told Judge Rishi Seegobin he wanted to question the girl because he believed she had made conflicting statements.
Courtroom spectators expressed alarm at the development.
Seegobin said it was a serious matter and acquiesced to his request.
It was believed that if Rosselloty was not allowed to re-examine the child, he could have grounds for appeal.
The child's mother has testified that the child received counselling, did not want to go a bathroom alone, did not sleep alone and went to bed with a light on.
She said that the child feared going to a doctor or dentist and was frightened of injections. The child had struggled at school, but was now improving.
Rosselloty wants to re-examine the child, who is now 12-years-old, when the case continues on Monday.
In Pietermaritzburg, young rape victims do not testify in the courtroom in which their alleged rapist appears, but in an adjoining room.
Questions by prosecutors and defence counsel are relayed via CCTV to an intermediary, who puts the question to the child and relays responses back to the court.
This meant the child would neither see nor hear Rosselloty. - Sapa