The MEC for Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal is calling on the justice system to reconsider its bail decision after two men accused raping a Grade 2 learner were granted bail in the Impendle Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
"The distressing development raised serious concerns about the safety and protection of the most vulnerable members of society. It is very hard to believe that the court could grant R300 bail to both men accused of such serious cases," MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza said.
It is alleged that the girl's 36-year-old stepfather and 18-year-old uncle raped the six-year-old girl while she was staying at her grandmother's home.
"This child was allegedly violated by the people who are supposed to protect her. The alleged incident is a horrifying reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive reforms within our legal system to ensure that individuals accused of such heinous crimes are not granted bail, particularly when the victim is a child. Child safety is paramount, and it is our collective responsibility as a society to ensure that children are protected from harm," Khoza said.
She added that the granting of bail in cases like this sent the wrong message and could potentially deter survivors from reporting crimes and seeking justice.
MEC further called on the justice system to reconsider the decision to grant bail to the accused and to prioritise the safety and well-being of the child.