Community members picketed outside the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, calling for a 26-year-old man accused of raping an eight-year-old girl to be denied bail.
COMMUNITY members picketed outside the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, calling for a 26-year-old man accused of raping an eight-year-old girl to be kept in custody until the finalisation of his trial.
The organiser of the picket, Lebogang Banyatsi, said that the community was concerned about the escalation in the number of violent offences involving children, including rape and murder, in the Phokwane region.
“The girl is back at school but she is very traumatised,” said Banyatsi.
Residents stated that they participated in the picket to show support for the girl’s family as well as all victims of gender-based violence.
One community member said that her son was murdered in 2018.
The accused, Aobakwe Johnny, made a brief appearance in the Jan Kempdorp Magistrate’s court on Wednesday.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said Johnny was arrested on March 10 after the girl’s aunt reported the incident.
“The accused made his first court appearance on March 11, where he represented himself. The State successfully opposed bail due to the seriousness of the charges,” said Senokoatsane.
He added that Johnny had since appointed a Legal Aid representative.
“The case was postponed to May 3, when the accused will apply for bail.”