Pretoria – The ANC on Thursday threw its support behind its Ward 9 councillor in Winterveldt who stands accused of raping two young girls and two women.
Sipho Maselane, 31, was arrested in 2015 for the alleged crimes, in which he is alleged to have assaulted and raped two 14-year-old girls and another two women aged 30 and 37.
He allegedly gave them lifts at night and took them to open veld.
Tshwane ANC spokesperson Teboho Joala said the party would not like to pre-empt the court judgment.
“Let the law take its course. The party believes anyone is innocent until proven guilty,” he said.
Maselane appeared in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court yesterday, accompanied by an entourage of supporters.
The matter was postponed to April 19 because the magistrate was sick.
Two of his victims were in court on Thursday. Maselane was arrested in 2015 by Loate police at his Winterveldt home, and was released soon afterwards on R2000 bail.
Despite the four charges hanging over his head, Maselane emerged victorious in last year’s local government elections, setting him up for the councillor’s position for Ward 9.
A community member on Thursday said his win caused rifts among branch members, with disgruntled members claiming the voting process had been rigged.
They called into question the credibility of the leader.
The accused man sat on Thursday in the court for over an hour after the case had been postponed, in an apparent bid to avoid the media.
He was eventually whisked away by a court official and driven away in a car via a back gate.
Joala said: “The court, through its findings, will be able to determine whether it was foul play or not.”
He said the ANC had confidence in Maselane and would only act if necessary after the final judgment.