Relief as Soshanguve rape accused denied bail
Pretoria - Activists against gender-based violence gave a sighs of relief yesterday after a man accused of raping a 26-year-old woman at a tavern on her birthday was denied bail by the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court.
They had come out to support the victim of the alleged rape and had submitted to court a petition with more than 250 signatures from concerned residents.
One of them was Swazi Mbokane, who said: “We are here as civil society to support her, because gender-based violence has spiralled out of control in Tshwane, particularly in Soshanguve.
“We would like to send a message to the community as a whole that rape is an injustice, and if we don’t stand up as the women sector it will just carry on.
“We are here to support the victim because she was violated. We say no means no.”
In an affidavit, the accused told the court he was not guilty because he had had consensual sex with the woman.
“I met the complainant on my way home. She was crying and she asked me for help as she was looking for her missing cellphone in the dark. I used my cellphone torch to find it. We decided to go together to my home,” he said.
He said she had agreed to sleep with him on condition that he gave her R200.
He told the court he gave the woman R220 and she left his home in the morning.
He pleaded with the court to grant him bail of R1000, saying that he needed to take care of his disabled mother.
Police investigator Warrant Officer Abel Mosekwane told the court that he was against the State granting the accused bail.
“I am against the court granting him bail because the community where the victim stays is very angry and they have put together a petition to express their opposition to it,” he said.
Testifying about the alleged incident, Mosekwane said the woman was at a tavern in Block S when she received a phone call.
“She moved away from the tavern to answer the call because there was noise,” he said.
On her way out she walked through a passage, where she was allegedly physically attacked and raped by the 26-year-old accused.
“After the incident the victim asked the accused if she could go with him to where he was going so that she could be safe. He took her to his parental home where he raped her again,” Mosekwane said.
The court was also told that the alleged perpetrator gave the woman R10 taxi fare in the morning to go home.
But a pro bono lawyer from the Legal Aid Board, who represented the accused, said that he found it unusual that the victim had asked to accompany the accused after the alleged rape, instead of calling for help.
Mosekwane agreed it was unusual, but he said that in his 27 years of experience as a policeman he had heard of at least 10 similar incidents in rape cases.
The accused's trial is scheduled to start on November 26.