Riedewaan George Picture: Supplied
Riedewaan George Picture: Supplied

Call for eight-year rape trial to end, anger over accused living near alleged victims

By Genevieve Serra/Daily Voice Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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Cape Town – The parents of the victims of alleged serial rapist Riedewaan George have written a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking why the accused was allowed to move back to his home in Salt River, only five doors away from one of the girls.

They also want Ramaphosa to intervene and expedite the trial, which has been running for the past eight years with continual delays.

Angry residents also took to the “Salt River then and now” Facebook page, calling for an organised and legal protest to be staged outside George’s home.

One resident wrote: “We must do what they do on the Cape Flats... we go to the house and we protest because we have had enough of child rape and molestation.”

George has undergone surgery on his shoulder and asked for his bail conditions to be amended so that his relatives can care for him at home.

The application was granted on 26 May due to his “exceptional circumstances”.

But the girls’ parents and neighbours say they have not been part of this decision and were ignored by prosecutors when they indicated that they wanted to oppose the application.

One of his alleged victims will have to pass his home every day when she returns to school.

The State is set to prove that George raped and sexually assaulted four girls in his home at gunpoint. The girls had been friends with George’s daughter, and were between 8 and 11 at the time.

George is out on R5 000 bail and is currently on trial at the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

According to court records, his bail amendment will be reviewed once he recovers from the operation to his shoulder.

The case has been dragging on for eight years and one of the girls, now aged 17, has since withdrawn her case, saying “it was too much” and she wanted to get on with her life, while another is married.

In their letter addressed to Ramaphosa, the Department of Justice, and the National Prosecuting Authority, the parents say they had communicated with Fiona Cloete, the senior prosecutor at the Cape Town Regional Court, about George’s application for several days, and wished to oppose it.

On the eve of his hearing, they asked Cloete for the name of the prosecutor handling the matter, but she did not respond.

They say the prosecutor handling the case then only responded at 11.58pm the following day, saying that the application had been granted.

The letter states: “Mr Presidentwe can now see the reason that many cases of such a nature get withdrawn and that people at large do not have faith in our Justice system.

“Our first priority is the well-being of our children and they need to and want to carry on with their lives and need closure... they can’t continually relive their trauma.

“Our families will be waiting with eager and heartfelt anticipation for your urgent response to our plea.”

They say neither the president, Department of Justice or Natinal Prosecuting Authority have responded yet.

Daily Voice

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