City of Cape Town official Raphael Martin Picture: Supplied
City of Cape Town official Raphael Martin Picture: Supplied

Alleged child rapist was a frequent visitor, say teen’s distraught parents

By Monique Duval Time of article published Jun 23, 2020

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Cape Town - Activists protested at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court yesterday after a popular City of Cape Town manager and former Umkhonto we Sizwe freedom fighter appeared on child rape charges.

Subcouncil 23 manager Raphael Martin, 53, appeared briefly in court amid protests from angry aunties who say they got a skrik when they heard a man they trusted had been charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.

The teen’s distraught parents say after three years of abuse, the girl finally opened up to her family last week and told them what had been happening.

Martin was a frequent visitor at the girl’s Strandfontein home and just over a week ago, he allegedly forced himself again on the teen in their kitchen while her parents were in the next room.

The City of Cape Town has confirmed that he is employed by the municipality, but declined to comment any further, adding that he would be liable for his own legal fees.

Martin appeared in court four before an empty gallery amid confusion about whether or not the media or public would be allowed in the courtroom.

Activists protested at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court yesterday. Picture: Solly Lottering

A court official confirmed the door would be opened when Martin appeared, but after an hour, the suspect’s defence team was seen walking away as the prosecutor told those outside that the case was postponed to 29 June.

Gender Activist Caroline Peters says she was upset when she heard Martin had been charged with child rape as she is close to him.

“I came to protest because I know him. We must expose everyone, no matter who they are.”

Strandfontein Community Police Forum chairperson Sandy Schuter says residents have rallied behind the teen.

“Regardless of what position the person has in society, if you commit a crime you have to face the full extent of the law.

“Today we stand with the victim. It’s not just the smetterige uncle around the corner (who is suspect), we trusted this man.”

The victim’s father says they appreciate the support of the community: “He was a MK and I remember that in the 1980s when he was locked up, people protested calling for his release; now they are calling for him to stay in prison.”

ANC provincial secretary in the Western Cape Faiez Jacobs says he is angered and shocked by the reports.

“I’m clear that I will not condone the violation of women and children. This matter must go to court, but I cannot remain silent in the face of serious charges,” he says.

Daily Voice

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