Soshanguve community pickets against bail application of alleged rapist

TTA members outside the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court where an alleged rapist was appearing. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

TTA members outside the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court where an alleged rapist was appearing. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jul 5, 2023


Pretoria - Scores of Soshanguve residents picketed outside the Soshanguve Magistrate’s Court yesterday against the bail application of an alleged rapist.

The picket was led by newly-formed Pretoria-based political organisation, The Transformation Alliance (TTA).

Bigboy Kabelo Masehla, 42, is accused of raping a 22-year-old and his case was postponed to Friday for his bail application.

Speaking to Pretoria News yesterday, TTA president Abel Tau said the reason the party was involved in the picket was because gender-based violence (GBV) was on the rise in Soshanguve.

“We were approached by the community when the alleged perpetrator was not being arrested. It is now known that he was victimising her so that she drops the charges.

“He was doing that by offering her money. Soshanguve North is prone to this GBV scourge, and we are hoping for the alleged perpetrator not to get bail at all when we come back on Friday,” Tau said.

He said GBV was a war against women, and that war could not be won by the perpetrators. He called on other organisations to join in the fight.

“We want to encourage communities and organisations to join in the fight against GBV. We call on South Africans to join us at the court on Friday to make sure that he does not get bail,” Tau said.

Masehla was arrested a few weeks ago after pressure from the political party and the community.

Tau added: “TTA released a media statement expressing concern at the fact that this man, who stays in the same neighbourhood as the victim, was still roaming the streets freely.”

He alleged that there was police officer who has been trying to financially induce the victim to withdraw the charges, with the suspect’s girlfriend making similar calls to the victim.

“We are calling on the police to investigate these allegations. We applaud the victim for refusing these financial inducements,” Tau said.

There has been a surge in GBV cases in the country in recent years. This incident comes as the country is still reeling from the shock of what happened to Palesa Malatji, a 17-year-old woman from the same area who was brutally murdered after being raped just over a week ago.

Recently, Police Minister Bheki Cele revealed that there were 10 512 rape victims in the first three months of this year.

According to the stats, 4 768 rape incidents took place at the homes of the victims or at the homes of the perpetrators, and attempted sexual offence cases increased by 21.2%, with 663 victims.

Pretoria News