A prominent leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Greytown in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is in custody fighting to get bail after he was arrested for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl.
The 60-year-old accused allegedly raped the girl on the night of March 16 2023. He was only arrested last month after an investigation by the police that was allegedly nearly abandoned.
The leader's name is withheld to protect the victim's identity and the woman who reported the crime.
WATCH: ABC supporters and other political parties are once again out in full force outside the Greytown magistrate court to voice their anger after a prominent politician from Matimatolo was arrested for raping a 7 year-old girl. Mvoti Mayor Philani Mavundla says no bail. @IOL pic.twitter.com/z722KuSeYf— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) August 1, 2023
According to Colonel Robert Netshiunda, the spokesperson for the police in KwaZulu-Natal, the accused was nabbed after the young victim's stepmother noticed she had been sexually violated.
On Monday the leader made his first appearance before Greytown Magistrate's Court. He was remanded until Tuesday to apply for bail.
On Tuesday the court ruled that he should be remanded in custody until August 8. This is while it is assessed whether it is feasible for him to get bail or not.
NEWS: The community of Greytown, KZN Midlands, is out in full force outside the local magistrate court where a rape case of a certain politician from Matimatolo is being heard. Leading the community protest outside court is the Mayor of Umvoti, Philani Mavundla. @IOL pic.twitter.com/Ew1jeGDzGP— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) July 31, 2023
Throughout his appearance over the two days, the Mayor of Umvoti (Greytown) and President of the Abantu Batho Congress (ABC) Philani Mavundla, led a community protest to oppose any bail for the arrested EFF leader.
Mavundla said rape was rife in the area and cited a case of a local woman raped allegedly in a mayoral mansion.
He stressed that the accused should not be granted bail as he is facing serious charges.
“All that we are demanding is that he should not be given any bail and he should be given the maximum sentence for the crime that he (allegedly) committed,” he said.
Mavundla also demanded that the SAPS investigator in the matter be hauled over the coals for allegedly obstructing justice.
“The poor conviction rate of rapists is a worrying trend which speaks to poor policing and a lack of seriousness in dealing with such sensitive and priority crimes,” Mavundla said outside the court.
The spokesperson for the EFF in KZN, Mazwi Blose said the matter has been brought to their attention and they would act.
“The organisation will definitely act. The office of the provincial secretary is currently seized with the matter as we speak and will implement the necessary disciplinary measures,” Blose said.