Cape Town - The trial date for the rape case against former City employee and Umkhonto we Sizwe freedom fighter Raphael Martin has been set for January 18 next year.
Martin is expected to plead before the trial begins in Mitchells Plain Regional Court B. He last appeared at the same court on August 11 when the case was postponed to November 2, as one of the witnesses was unwell.
It is expected that the girl who is from Strandfontein will give testimony that Martin raped her repeatedly over three years when he goes on trial in January.
The matter emerged when the distraught family of the traumatised teen revealed that she had allegedly been raped by Martin for three years but had hid the information from her family out of fear.
Martin was arrested in June last year in connection with the rape after a medical examination confirmed the teenage girl had also been sodomised during this time. He was then released on strict bail conditions.
At the time that the rape allegations surfaced last year Martin was serving as a sub-council manager in Mitchells Plain. He was then subjected to a disciplinary hearing where the City decided to terminate his contract.
In January this year, Martin was arrested briefly and then released from custody after suspicions that he had breached his bail conditions.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) reported that the presiding officer released him pending an inquiry on whether he was in fact in breach of his bail conditions by apparently having attended a funeral in Strandfontein earlier that month.
The ANC, which said it was shocked by the rape allegations and demanded the harshest sentence, said Martin had not been formally part of the ANC in Mitchells Plain since 2013.
At the time, ANC Western Cape coordinator Ronalda Nalumango said: “This alleged crime is a betrayal of the ethos, values and principles of the ANC.”
“Every day our country is sent reeling by gruesome acts of gender-based violence. We have recoiled with horror at these reports. Never ever did we expect that a suspect who is said to be one of our own would appear in court on allegations of raping a young girl,” she said.
At the same time, the MK Military Veterans Association put out a statement that Martin had been branded an "enemy" of the armed wing after he was allegedly found to be an "agent" in the 1980s.
The statement said that Martin had “infiltrated the armed wing in the late 1980s but he was exposed as an enemy agent and ostracised. From 1990 onwards, all contact with him was severed”.