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Rape accused abandon bail bid

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After the victim was released, her “rescuer” offered to walk her home but then allegedly turned on her and raped her in the veld

THREE rape accused, including a minor, opted to abandon their formal bail application when they appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court

yesterday.

The trio are accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in Lerato Park during the early hours of January 13, 2020.

It is alleged that two of the accused took turns raping the woman inside a shanty after dragging her from the street where she was waiting for friends.

One of the accused apparently pretended to come to the aid of the woman by throwing stones on the shanty’s roof in an attempt to get the two suspects to release the woman.

After the victim was released, her “rescuer” offered to walk her home but then allegedly turned on her and raped her in the veld.

Community members of Lerato Park yesterday protested outside the court, demanding that the accused be denied bail.

According to a committee member in the area, Gloria Raadt, the shortage of services in Lerato Park makes it easy for criminals to conduct their activities.

“We have no street lights in Lerato Park. Crime is rife as it is very dark at night. There have been numerous rape incidents in the area and no one, irrespective of whether you are a woman, man or child, is safe. Recently a foreign shop owner was also shot. Criminals hide away in the dark so that they cannot be identified,” said Raadt.

She added that the residents had raised the issue of a lack of services with the Sol Plaatje Municipality.

“We are in desperate need of basic services in Lerato Park. We do not have toilets and we are also too afraid to go outside at night to relieve ourselves. The municipality needs to address the matter because their inability to provide basic services is impacting on our safety. We are being held hostage inside our homes after sunset as criminals roam the streets and we are fearful for our lives.”

Other residents called on the justice system to act harshly against criminals and to not show any leniency.

“This woman was raped anally and vaginally, that is a very brutal experience. Rape is a violation of one’s basic human rights and needs to be rooted out. Those who are found guilty of such heinous acts should not be granted any sympathy or leniency. A woman’s life has now been totally destroyed by the acts of these criminals.”

They also called on the courts to finalise rape cases quickly.

“We do not want to see this matter being dragged out for years before it is finalised. We need justice to be served and it must be as harsh as the treatment these criminals have shown to the woman they raped.

“There are too many cases where criminals are released after a case has been reported. If that happens here, we will have no choice but to deal with the criminals ourselves,” they warned.

The case was postponed to next month.