Bonteheuwel residents speak up at court

Residents protest outside court

Court orderlies at Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court had their hands full trying to contain a packed courtroom when a 53-year-old man, accused of raping a six-year-old girl, appeared briefly on Monday August 28.

The man, from Bonteheuwel, was remanded in custody, and his case was postponed to Thursday September 28, where a decision will be made whether the case will be transferred to the regional court.

Ward 50 councillor, Angus McKenzie, also presented the court with a petition, which he initiated, to ask the court not to grant the accused bail.

It is alleged that the accused raped the girl in his Bonteheuwel house, where the child and her mother live in a backyard dwelling.

He also reportedly gave her R5 after the alleged rape.

The mother went to the police after she went looking for her daughter, who had not returned from an errand, and allegedly found the accused and her child in the bathroom in the main house where the accused had been hiding behind the bathroom door.

He was arrested on Friday July 28 and appeared in court for the first time on Monday July 31. At his second appearance, on Thursday August 3, Bonteheuwel residents protested outside court.

Mr McKenzie said knowing that the accused would not be out on bail, gave the community a “renewed sense of trust towards the justice system in South Africa”.

“The people of Bonteheuwel have spoken and we have been heard,” he added.