Durban - A KwaZulu-Natal man who accused of raping his 10-year-old stepdaughter made his first appearance at the Verulam Family Court on Thursday. His case has been remanded until June 25 for a medical report and assessment and will be kept at Verulam police station.
The man whose face was swollen spent most of the proceedings trying to avoid the cameras. When asked during the proceedings to stand up to have the charges read out to him, he said he could not. He had earlier limped into the courtroom, saying he had fractured ribs, injuries to his eye and the top of his head.
When asked by the magistrate if he wanted to get his own lawyer, the man said he wanted to use Legal Aid.
Before proceedings formally got underway, an application for the matter to be televised was brought before the magistrate. On hearing that the accused had no problems with proceedings being broadcast, the magistrate granted the request.
However, the court also ruled that the name of the child and pictures of her cannot be published by the media. The accused may also not be named to protect the identity of the child.
Some spectators inside the courtroom called the man a "monster", while others said they wanted him to be released so they could assault him.
The man, who is in his forties, was arrested earlier this week after he was assaulted by angry community members who claim that they had been aware of the alleged abuse for some time and that their requests for authorities to investigate had gone unheeded. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Outside the court, tensions were high as angry community members wanted to be let into the courtroom to witness proceedings. The court, however, could only accommodate about 30 people who squeezed into the benches.
Representatives from various political parties were also present at the courthouse and prior to court proceedings, a group of about 20 people protested outside the court calling for bail to be denied.
The case was postponed so that a medical report could be prepared, outlining the injuries which the suspect sustained.