Home News Matric pupil accused of rape at place of safety granted bail

Matric pupil accused of rape at place of safety granted bail

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A 20-year-old matric pupil charged with raping a 17-year-old boy at the Lerato Place of Safety was released on bail of R1,000.

A Grade 12 pupil was released on bail of R1 000. Picture: Supplied

A 20-YEAR-old matric pupil charged with raping a 17-year-old boy at the Lerato Place of Safety was released on bail of R1,000.

The accused is expected to reappear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court in April. Until then, he will reside with family members in Chris Hani Park.

His legal representative, Denzil Landsberg from Legal Aid South Africa, indicated that his client intends to plead not guilty to the charges.

“He has no previous convictions or any pending cases. He will not interfere with any witnesses. He wants to finish his schooling as he is in matric,” said Landsberg.

The investigating officer in the matter, Warrant Officer Conrad de Jongh from the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit, stated that the complainant was a Malawian national who was 17 years old.

“The incident took place at the Lerato Place of Safety in Galeshewe on March 3 at 1.20am. He [the complainant] was asleep in his dorm while his roommate was also asleep on the other bed.

“According to the complainant, the accused entered the room, undressed him, touched his private parts and performed oral sex on him. The complainant woke up and saw that it was the accused,” said De Jongh.

He added that the complainant reported the matter to the dorm manager, who immediately alerted the officials and the police.

De Jongh said the shift leader had indicated that the dorm rooms were not locked so that staff had access to the children in the event that something happened.

“There are cameras in the passage but not in the rooms. We have applied for access to the video footage.”

De Jongh explained that the accused was transferred to the Lerato Place of Safety from a local school hostel last year, upon the instruction of the HOD for the Department of Social Development.

“It was indicated that he participated in the performing arts as well as in departmental programmes at the Department of Education. He was accommodated in a visitor’s room in an area away from the other children at the place of shelter,” said De Jongh.

He stated that the pupil was removed from the school hostel as he was apparently influencing the other children against the teachers at the school.

“He was described as an intelligent pupil.”

De Jongh did not object to the granting of bail and did not believe that the accused posed any threat if he was released.

“The complainant also has no objection to him being released on bail.”

Magistrate Andre Williams pointed out that what was previously categorised as sexual assault was now classified as rape.

He postponed the matter until April 25 for further investigation.

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