File picture: Independent Media

Port Elizabeth –  A Port Elizabeth man charged with abducting, raping and assaulting two girls, aged five and six, told the New Brighton Magistrate's Court on Thursday that it would be putting his life at risk if he was held at St Albans prison.

The 49-year-old made his second appearance in court where he abandoned his bid for bail. 

The man who faces a string of serious charges told the court that he did not want to be sent to St Albans prison and asked if he could instead remain at the New Brighton Police Station.

Magistrate Una Rhodes said that such a request could not be granted and ordered that he be transferred to St Albans.

Rhodes said she would, however, make a request for him to be detained in a single cell at St Albans Correctional Centre. 

Earlier last month, parents of the two young girls reported them missing when they did not return home after they were last seen playing in an open field in the Chris Hani informal residential area. The two girls are not related.

Eastern Cape police launched a large-scale search and started by looking for the girls at known friends and family in the area. The search was later scaled up by utilising more police members, the South African Police Service (SAPS) K9 unit as well as the SAPS helicopter with a search light. 

Police made a breakthrough when the six-year-old girl was found behind the Chevrolet Stadium.

At the time, police spokesperson, Captain Andre Beetge, said that the girl was found severely assaulted with stab wounds on her head and body and was rushed to the Dora Nginza Hospital. 

The girl managed to give the police information which led them to a shack dwelling in Chris Hani, where the five-year-old girl was found with a 49-year-old man.

Medical examinations confirmed that both girls had been raped, police said.

The man is facing charges of abduction, attempted murder and rape.

A small group of community members gathered outside court on Thursday chanting in protest. 

The case against the alleged child rapist was postponed until Friday for further investigation.