The accused applied for bail in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court and they all indicated that they intend to plead not guilty to the charges against them
THE BAIL application proceedings of three men who are accused of raping a seven-year-old girl were conducted in camera in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The men are aged 72, 30 and 29 years old. The elderly man is said to be the grandfather of the complainant.
It is alleged that the men abused the victim from January this year until “the ordeal was uncovered” on June 25.
The alleged incident took place at Spring Acre farm, situated on the N8 road between Kimberley and Bloemfontein.
It was later discovered by a doctor, who performed the medical examination on the girl, that the young victim had been infected with a sexually transmitted disease
The three accused submitted individual affidavits as evidence in their bail application.
All three stated that they were employed on the farm and lived there.
They all indicated that they intend to plead not guilty to the charges against them.
According to the 30-year-old man, who is the first accused, the young girl is his sister-in-law.
“I was employed at Spring Acres farm where I did general work, like cleaning. I do not possess a passport nor do I have any relatives outside the borders of South Africa. I have no previous convictions or any pending cases. My mother is dependent on me as she cannot walk after she lost the use of her legs in an accident. Should I be granted bail I would be able to get back to work and take care of my mother. I will also not interfere with the State witnesses in the matter,” he said.
The 29-year-old man, who is the second accused, said that he was also employed as a general worker on the farm.
“I was employed as a general worker at Spring Acres. I also resided at the farm. I have no pending cases or previous charges against me. I intend to plead not guilty to the charges against me. If I am released on bail, I will regain my employment as losing my work would result in the lapsing of my funeral policies. My mother only has one leg and is wheelchair bound. I have been taking care of my mother and she is dependent on me. I will report to the Phakamile Mabija police station and will adhere to the bail conditions set by the court,” the accused said in his affidavit.
The 72-year-old accused indicated in his affidavit that he has been in “good standing” with the law all his life and also intended to plead not guilty.
“I am employed as a general worker at Spring Acres farm. I have no previous charges or any pending cases against me. I am the grandfather of the compliant in the matter. Should I be released on bail, I will pose no danger to anyone considering my age. I have got an injury to my ear which hinders me from hearing clearly. I have never had any run-ins with the law all my life. I intend to plead not guilty to the charge against me and will not evade my trial nor interfere with the State witnesses should I be released on bail. I will also adhere to the bail conditions set by the court,” he stated.
Members of the ANC Women’s League in the Northern Cape attended the court appearance on Thursday.
ANCYL regional co-ordinator Nonyameko Shushu said that they were “disgusted” by the incident.
“All three accused must be locked up as they committed a disgusting act. One of the accused admitted to being the grandfather of the child, yet he committed such a disgraceful crime against someone who he is supposed to protect. The accused is also elderly and should not be linked to such crimes. This incident has inflicted lifelong trauma on the child,” said Shushu.
She called on society, especially women, to educate young boys about protecting women.
“We are mothers and give birth to male children. We need to educate our male children from a young age about how to respect and protect all women in society. The example and education we give our boys will equip them as they grow older. If we fail to do this, these disgusting incidents will never end,” said Shushu.
The case was postponed and the court is expected to make a ruling on the bail applications of the three men next week.