Alleged #VerulamRape stepdad to hear fate soon
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Durban - The man accused of raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter 900 times will spend another night in jail before he finds out if he will be granted bail.
The bail judgement for the 43-year-old man will be handed down in the Verulam Magistrate's Family Court on Friday.
During proceedings on Thursday, San Barthu, State prosecutor argued that the State opposed bail for the accused due to the large public outcry and high profile nature of the case.
She said that if the man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim is released on bail it will result in the public losing faith in the justice system.
She said that statistics painted a grim picture of rape cases and said that there were 109 cases of rape every day in the country.
"The State has a strong prima facie case as the victim was a strong witness," she said.
Barthu also cited the accused's nomadic lifestyle, saying he did not stay in one place for more than three months as another reason why he should not be given bail.
She had earlier submitted a petition by community members who asked for the man not to be granted bail.
Mondli Mthethwa, defence attorney, countered this and said that public opinion changed like the wind.
He argued that if the man was found to be innocent then the public would be angry that a person was wrongly imprisoned.
Mthethwa further argued that it was the court's decision on whether it would grant bail based on the various laws that regulated bail applications that were not considered by the public.
Mthethwa said a nomadic lifestyle of the accused should not be considered in denying him bail.
This week the State painted a picture of a violent man in court
The allegations came through the testimony of Warrant Officer Nevarge Lutchminarain who said the man had a restraining order against him by his ex-girlfriend whom he was allegedly violent towards.
The man is accused of raping and sexually grooming his stepdaughter over a five-year period.
It also emerged in court that the man had two previous cases of assault against him between 2004 and 2006 in which he had paid admission of guilt fines.
Mthethwa, said this should not prejudice the bail application as the incidents had happened more than 10 years ago which could be expunged from the record although his client had not applied for this to be done.
Lutchminarain said the stepdad, who has been married three times, had allegedly assaulted all of his ex-wives. Lutchminarain, a policeman for 25 years, added that the man had apparently also assaulted the stepdaughter’s aunt.
In an interview with the man, Lutchminarain said he and other police officers present were threatened by the accused. He had apparently also threatened the community of Verulam when he was arrested and threatened social workers who wanted to see the child. “We are opposing bail for his own safety,” he said.
In a written affidavit read out to the court, the step dad proclaimed his innocence. “I did not rape my daughter in any sort of way. The case against me is fabricated,” he said.