Rape accused warned against WhatsApp

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Mbombela - An Mbombela magistrate on Monday instructed a rape accused not to contact his alleged victim in any way, including on social networks.

The accused, Skhumbuzo Innocent Thwala, 23, from Daantjie outside Mbombela, handed himself to police on August 31 last year after the girl's mother laid a rape charge against him, a Sapa correspondent reported.

He pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape. His bail application was rejected by magistrate Rudolf Smith in the Nelspruit Regional Court on January 15 for his own safety, after members of the local ANC Woman's League threatened his life.

On Monday, however, defence lawyer William Motha successfully challenged the decision to decline his client's bail application.

“Your bail is R1000... do not contact the victim, WhatsApp, BBM her, or ask your friends to contact her,” Smith said.

Thwala was not allowed to go to the girl's school.

“If you go there or one of the community members sees you there, your bail application will be withdrawn. When your bail is paid you must go straight to Hazyview and stay there,” said Smith.

The trial was postponed to March 20.

Sapa


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